It was in early November when the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack issued a large batch of subpoenas, one of which was given to Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's disgraced former White House national security adviser. This shouldn't have surprised anyone.
After all, as we discussed at the time, Flynn allegedly attended a December 2020 meeting in the Oval Office in which participants discussed declaring a national emergency as part of a scheme to keep Trump in power despite his defeat. The retired general also reportedly raised the prospect of deploying U.S. troops and declaring martial law as part of an apparent coup attempt.
Yesterday, Flynn responded — by suing the bipartisan congressional panel. NBC News reported:
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn sued the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot on Tuesday, claiming its subpoenas violate his right to free speech and his right against self-incrimination.
The litigation isn't likely to fare well. Flynn and his lawyers contend, for example, that the House committee lacks the authority to issue subpoenas, which is plainly absurd given the approved congressional resolution that created the panel. Similarly, the new litigation claims that the Jan. 6 committee lacks a "legislative purpose," which is a claim the federal courts have already considered and rejected.
But what stood out as notable about the Flynn lawsuit was not its merits, but rather, it's familiarity.
In fact, it was just one day earlier when professional conspiracy theory peddler Alex Jones also sued the Jan. 6 committee, alleging — you guessed it — that the bipartisan group of lawmakers serving on the panel lack the authority to subpoena him.
Earlier that day, as Politico reported, Cleta Mitchell, a conservative attorney who joined Trump's early January call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, also "sued to quash a subpoena from the Jan. 6 select committee for her private phone records."
The list doesn't stop there. Last week, John Eastman, the author of an anti-election strategy memo embraced by Team Trump, also sued the committee. Four days earlier, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows filed suit against the committee, its individual members, and for good measure, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
This does not include Donald Trump, of course, who sued the National Archives to prevent the release of his White House materials related to the Jan. 6 attack.
It's as if key witnesses have stumbled upon a full-employment program for conservative attorneys.
A generous observer might suggest that each of these cases was filed in good faith and deserves to be evaluated on the individual merits. Another possibility is that most members of Team Trump have come to believe dubious lawsuits will create a mess that will delay the investigation and run out the clock ahead of the 2022 midterm elections — at which point Republicans will likely make significant gains and quickly end all scrutiny of the Jan. 6 attack.
Watch this space.