MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell sues Jan. 6 panel over subpoena for phone records

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WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 15: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell waits outside the West Wing of the White House before entering on January 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(The Hill) – MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell sued the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol on Wednesday in an effort to block the panel’s bid to obtain his phone records through a subpoena.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, is the latest legal action filed by allies of former President Donald Trump against the Democrat-led panel as it seeks to collect records of communications related to the insurrection and events leading up to it. 

Lindell’s suit says the House select committee issued Verizon a subpoena for all Lindell’s records of communication on a designated cell phone number between Nov. 1, 2020, and Jan. 31, 2021. Wednesday was the deadline to file a challenge in court before Verizon would comply with the request, it said. 

Lindell is arguing that the subpoena violates his First and Fourth Amendment rights. The lawsuit also claims individual members of the select committee “acted without authority because they were not validly organized as a House committee” under the Rules of the House.

The lawsuit falsely asserts that Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), the only two Republicans on the panel, were “removed from the Republican Caucus,” and therefore “have no legitimate power to issue enforceable subpoenas.” The lawsuit then points to two House rules focusing on standing committees and party membership.

Cheney and Kinzinger, however, are both still members of the Republican Party and the House Republican caucus.

The lawsuit also claims that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was not consulted regarding nominations to the panel. The Republican leader did, however, recommend five GOP lawmakers for the committee before yanking the picks because of Pelosi’s opposition to two of them. 

Additionally, Lindell argues the subpoena “exceeds the authority of the Select Committee” because it requests “records that are far beyond the scope of the Select Committee’s investigation.”

Lindell is requesting the subpoena be invalidated, or that he be given the opportunity to review requested information before it is given to the committee so he “may assert any applicable claim of attorney-client or other privilege” before it is presented to the committee.

The lawsuit argues the subpoena is “a veiled effort to conduct an unauthorized criminal investigation, and it is not in furtherance of a valid legislative purpose.”

The House select committee declined to comment on Lindell’s lawsuit when reached by The Hill. The Hill also reached out to Verizon for comment.

Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, attorney John Eastman, far-right radio host Alex Jones, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich and conservative pundit and onetime Trump White House adviser Sebastian Gorka have all filed lawsuits in response to subpoenas from the committee.

Lindell was a vocal supporter of former President Trump in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential race, arguing that the election was rigged in favor of President Joe Biden. He has been a leading proponent of the false claims that manipulated voting machines were behind a fraudulent outcome.

In the days after the Jan. 6 attack, Lindell was photographed at the White House following a meeting with Trump. Zoomed-in images taken by Washington Post photographer Jabin Botsford offered a glimpse of the notes Lindell had with him, which included mentions of “martial law if necessary” and the “Insurrection Act,” an 1806 statute that allows the president to deploy troops to suppress civil disorder or actions of insurrection.

Lindell’s lawsuit is the latest legal action against the Jan. 6 committee as it works to investigate fatal riots. The businessman’s lawsuit was filed one day before the one-year anniversary of the attack.

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