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Michael Flynn Pleads the Fifth During Jan 6th Committee Deposition

Michael Flynn Pleads the Fifth During Jan 6th Committee Deposition

Michael Flynn and Donald Trump

Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s onetime national security adviser who pleaded guilty twice for lying to the FBI, invoked his Fifth Amendment right during a deposition before the January 6th House Select Committee on Thursday, declining to answer the panel’s questions.

Flynn met with the committee virtually and invoked the Fifth “on the advice of counsel,” his attorney, David Warrington, said in a statement that accused the panel of insinuating “General” Flynn’s decision to decline to answer their questions “constituted an admission of guilt.” Warrington claimed that “Most of the questions lacked any relation to the legislative purpose contained in House Resolution 503, and many were clearly sourced from fringe news and conspiracy websites and rumors. No American should have to endure such harassment by the legislative branch of our government.”

Michael Flynn QAnon pledge

The House Select Committee is interested in Flynn because he reportedly attended a December 2020 Oval Office meeting “during which participants discussed seizing voting machines, declaring a national emergency, invoking certain national security emergency powers, and continuing to spread the false message that the November 2020 election had been tainted by widespread fraud,” according to the Committee’s subpoena.

 

Invoking the Fifth Amendment is usually done to avoid answering specific questions. While taking the Fifth can have negative implications depending on the circumstance, the US Supreme Court has long regarded the right against self-incrimination as a venerable part of the Constitution and tried to ensure that a witness’ silence not be equated with guilt. Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark pleaded the Fifth Amendment more than 100 times during his deposition with the January 6 committee last month, a source familiar with the interview told CNN. And Roger Stone, another staunch ally of Trump, invoked the Fifth to every question asked during his deposition in December. Trump’s son Eric Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment over 500 times in his deposition in connection with New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into the Trump Organization.

Flynn, who was pardoned by Trump near the end of the administration, became a public voice in right-wing circles touting a false belief that Trump lost the election because of widespread voter fraud. He has also spread QAnon conspiracy theories and had sued to block the Committee’s attempts to interview him and to obtain records related to his activity leading up to and on January 6th, but lost that battle in court.

 

 

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