(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, appeared Thursday before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and exercised his Fifth Amendment right in response to the panel’s questions, his attorney said.
The committee subpoenaed Flynn in November, requesting documents and testimony in reference to a Dec. 18, 2020, meeting he reportedly attended with then-President Trump in the Oval Office, where seizing voting machines used in the 2020 election was allegedly discussed.
Flynn was also allegedly involved in efforts to draft several memos ordering multiple federal agencies to seize voting machines, which Trump ultimately did not sign.
Flynn’s lead counsel, David Warrington, said Flynn “exercised his 5th amendment right to decline to answer the Committee’s questions” at his appearance Thursday.
A committee spokesperson declined to comment on Flynn’s appearance.
Trump had allegedly contemplated ordering the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to seize states’ voting machines as part of his efforts to challenge the 2020 election results, and Flynn publicly prodded Trump to declare martial law and order the military to oversee new elections in the battleground states that Trump had lost.
One day before Trump met with Flynn, the former national security adviser told the conservative news outlet Newsmax that Trump “could take military capabilities and he could place them in those states and basically rerun an election in each of those states.”
Flynn filed a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the committee in December seeking “declaratory and injunctive relief” from a subpoena from the committee seeking his records and testimony.
A federal judge quickly rejected Flynn’s effort to get a temporary restraining order that would have barred the committee from enforcing its subpoena against him and obtaining any of his cellphone data from a third-party telecommunications company.
Flynn and former Trump attorney Sidney Powell tried to enlist a Pentagon official to help overturn the election, ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl wrote in his book Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show.
According to the book, Flynn — who had just received an unconditional presidential pardon from Trump after pleading guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI during the Russia probe — made a frantic phone call to a senior Trump intelligence official named Ezra Cohen (sometimes referred to as Ezra Cohen-Watnick), who previously worked under Flynn at both the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council.
Flynn urged Cohen that “he needed to get orders signed, that ballots needed to be seized, and that extraordinary measures needed to be taken to stop Democrats from stealing the election,” Karl reported.
“Sir, the election is over,” Cohen told Flynn, according to the book. “It’s time to move on.”
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