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Judge denies Michael Flynn's request for restraining order against Jan. 6 committee

The judge said “there is no basis to conclude that Flynn will face immediate and irreparable harm,” which is needed for the order.
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A federal judge in Florida on Wednesday denied Michael Flynn’s request for a temporary restraining order to block subpoenas from the House Jan. 6 committee compelling him to testify and to produce scores of documents.

The judge took action the day after Flynn filed his motion in federal court in Florida, where he lives.

U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven of Tampa said Flynn’s motion, which was filed Tuesday, failed for two reasons, including a lack of urgency.

She noted that the committee postponed Flynn’s deposition to “a date to be determined.” And while the committee's subpoena said he should produce the documents it requested by Nov. 23, “there is no evidence in the record as to the date by which the select committee now expects Flynn to comply with its document requests,” she said.

For those and other reasons, Scriven said, “there is no basis to conclude that Flynn will face immediate and irreparable harm,” which is what he would have to demonstrate to get a restraining order.

Scriven said Flynn's lawyers also failed to follow the correct procedure for such requests. Federal rules require someone seeking a temporary restraining order to notify the other party or parties — in this case, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the Jan. 6 committee — or say why the notice shouldn’t be required. Flynn’s lawyers failed to do either, an omission that the judge said was fatal to his motion.

Scriven also said Flynn can try again “if he believes he can comply with the procedural requirements.”

Flynn, who was former President Donald Trump's first national security adviser, sued Tuesday claiming that the committee subpoena was too broad, inquiring into his political views and violating his First Amendment rights. He also said it requested information about matters that could touch on a separate criminal investigation, violating his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to federal agents about a conversation he had with a Russian diplomat when he was cooperating with former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He later stopped cooperating and sought to withdraw the guilty plea. Trump granted him a full pardon last year.

CORRECTION (Dec. 22, 2021, 9:25 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated when Flynn filed the motion and when the judge denied it. The motion was filed Tuesday and denied Wednesday; it was not filed Wednesday and denied Thursday.