Politics

Judge rejects bid by former Trump advisor Michael Flynn to block Jan. 6 Capitol probe subpoena

Key Points
  • A federal judge Wednesday rejected a request by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to temporarily block subpoenas to him issued by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
  • But the judge, whose ruling came a day after Flynn filed that request in court, opened the door to him to renew the bid if he thinks he can satisfy two issues that the judge cited in denying a restraining order against the committee.
  • Flynn briefly served as national security advisor to former President Donald Trump. He later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Russia's ambassador to the United States, but was pardoned by Trump in 2020.
Former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn gestures as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump rally to protest the results of the election in front of Supreme Court building, in Washington, December 12, 2020.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

A federal judge Wednesday rejected a request by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to temporarily block subpoenas to him issued by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

But the judge, whose ruling came a day after Flynn filed that request in court, opened the door to him to renew the bid if he thinks he can satisfy two issues that the judge cited in denying a restraining order against the committee.

Flynn briefly served as national security advisor to former President Donald Trump. He later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Russia's ambassador to the United States. Trump pardoned him in 2020.

The select House panel probing the Capitol riot by a mob of Trump supporters issued subpoenas last month seeking documents and an interview with Flynn, a Florida resident who is a retired Army general.

The committee told Flynn it wanted to question him about a meeting he had with Trump and other people at the White House last December, where they "discussed seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency, invoking certain national security emergency powers, and continuing to spread the message that the November 2020 election had been tainted by widespread fraud."

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House January 6 panel issues more subpoenas

Flynn on Tuesday sued the panel in U.S. District Court in Florida, seeking to block the subpoena, arguing that it violated his right to free speech under the First Amendment, and his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

On Wednesday, Judge Mary Scriven said she would not issue a temporary restraining order against the committee because Flynn's lawyers had failed to notify the panel of the lawsuit, or give a reason why they should be exempt from that requirement under federal civil procedural rules.

Scriven also said there was no reason to issue an emergency order blocking the subpoena now because Flynn's deposition by the committee has been postponed to a yet-to-be-determined date, and there is no evidence of a new date for when the panel expects the documents it has subpoenaed to be turned over.