House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) highly partisan committee that purports to be investigating the January riot at the U.S. Capitol just scored a legal victory — though it may be only temporary.
Pelosi and other anti-Trump lawmakers on the House select panel can breathe a sigh of relief as a judge ruled Wednesday against a motion from former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who sought to block subpoenas compelling him to cooperate with the committee.
Judge Mary Scriven shot down Flynn’s request for a temporary restraining order over what the Washington Examiner described as “a supposed lack of urgency.”
According to the Examiner, the judge said she’d been presented with no evidence that Flynn would be subject to “immediate and irreparable harm,” noting that the committee has yet to determine a final due date for the documents requested after he missed a November deadline.
Judge issues ruling
The committee, which held its first hearing over the summer, comprises seven Democrats and two Republicans who each voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump earlier this year for his alleged role in what they’ve described as an insurrection at the Capitol, as NPR reports.
In his lawsuit, Flynn has argued that requests for his phone records and other testimony intrude on his First Amendment rights.
But the judge said Wednesday that Flynn’s legal team had failed to follow the correct filing procedure on its latest request. According to the rules, she said, Flynn was required to inform Pelosi and the committee that he was filing the order, or else explain why an exception applies.
His legal team did neither.
Scriven did say that Flynn may try again “if he believes he can comply with the procedural requirements.”
Flynn’s lawyers speak out
In a statement, Flynn’s attorney did not seem to suggest that the ruling amounted to a complete loss for his client. Lawyer David Warrington argued that the judge’s decision “does not affect General Flynn’s underlying case for injunctive relief.”
“The Court acknowledged that should the Select Committee take actions that would cause an immediate harm to General Flynn, such as expediting the response dates for document requests from Flynn or for the phone company subpoenas, a renewed motion for TRO may be appropriate,” Warrington said, according to the Examiner.
“General Flynn looks forward to obtaining relief from Congress’s unconstitutional and unlawful investigation in the normal course of his pending suit for injunctive relief that was not affected by today’ order,” he added.