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Sebastian Gorka sues to block Jan. 6 panel's subpoena for phone records

The lawsuit aims to block a subpoena from Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., requesting that Verizon turn over the former Trump aide's phone records.
Image: Sebastian Gorka
Sebastian Gorka speaks at the 2018 Values Voter Summit in Washington, on Sept. 22, 2018.Susan Walsh / AP file

WASHINGTON — Sebastian Gorka, a conservative radio talk show host and ex-aide to former President Donald Trump, is suing the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and Verizon to block a subpoena for his phone records.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., issued the subpoena in December, requesting Verizon turn over Gorka's phone records spanning from November 2020 through the following January.

Gorka’s lawyers argued in the filing that the committee “abused its power by unlawfully subpoenaing a cell phone service provider” to produce call records from Gorka. They wrote that the committee had not directly asked Gorka to provide the documents and had not asked him to answer questions either.

His attorneys said Gorka, a former national security aide to Trump during his first year in office, wasn’t involved in any organizations sponsoring events on Jan. 6, “was not present at the Capitol” and didn’t sponsor events that day.

“Although invited to speak at an event at the Supreme Court that day, his speech was cancelled, and therefore, he only observed the speeches at the Ellipse as one spectator among many and left," the lawsuit says. "He has committed no crime, and he has done nothing, and has no information, that could provide the basis for new laws."

The subpoena therefore “does not serve a legitimate legislative purpose,” the lawyers claimed, calling it a "purely partisan fishing expedition." They also alleged the committee was “improperly constituted” and is violating Gorka’s First and Fourth Amendment rights as well as telecommunication privacy laws.

Politico first reported the committee's subpoena and Gorka's lawsuit in response. The panel is facing similar lawsuits from numerous other witnesses whom it believes have knowledge of or involvement in the events leading up to the attack on Jan. 6, including Trump, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and attorney John Eastman.

The lawsuit comes ahead of the Thursday anniversary of the Capitol attack and as the committee intensifies its investigation.