Weather Alert

Sebastian Gorka sues January 6 committee over subpoena for phone records

Washington — Sebastian Gorka, a conservative radio host who is an ally of former President Donald Trump, sued the House panel examining the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol over a subpoena it issued to Verizon for his phone records.

Gorka filed his lawsuit against the panel, its chairman, Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, and top committee staff in federal district court in Washington alleging the House select committee “abused its power by unlawfully” demanding his call records from Verizon, his cell phone provider. Politico first reported the subpoena for Gorka’s records.

Gorka’s attorneys argued that obtaining his private phone records serves “no valid legislative purpose” and called the request a “purely partisan fishing expedition,” echoing criticisms of the select committee and its information requests from Trump and other former White House aides whose actions in the run-up to and on January 6 have been of interest to investigators.

The radio host, who worked in the White House under Trump in 2017, is asking the court to block Verizon from complying with the subpoena.

“The select committee’s aimless rifling through the communications records of an adverse political journalist whom it knows had no role in the events it claims to be investigating epitomizes an investigation run amok,” Gorka’s attorneys said in their suit. “The toxic forces rending this country apart will only be strengthened, and the goal of more tranquil times will be more elusive, if any party holding a majority of seats in the House of Representatives can hunt down and persecute citizens, including journalists, because of their political sympathies and speech in an effort to silence that speech.”

A copy of the subpoena to Verizon, issued December 15, was included by Gorka in his filing and shows the committee is seeking three months of his cell phone data, from November 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. The House panel requested all calls, text messages and other records associated with his phone number by December 29.

Verizon also sent Gorka a letter December 17 notifying him of the request for information associated with his phone number.

Gorka’s attorneys told the court that he was invited to speak outside the Supreme Court on January 6, but his speech was canceled. He watched speeches at the rally outside the White House and then left, they said.

“He has committed no crime, and he has done nothing, and has no information, that could provide the basis for new laws,” Gorka’s attorneys argued.

As the committee continues its investigation into the events of January 6 and approaches the one-year anniversary of the attack, numerous lawsuits have been filed against the panel over its subpoenas. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former national security adviser Michael Flynn have both asked the courts to invalidate subpoenas for their records.

Trump, too, is involved in a legal battle with the committee over its efforts to obtain documents from the National Archives. The former president asked the Supreme Court to step in last month and block the release of his White House records to House investigators.

The January 6 committee has so far issued more than 50 subpoenas as part of its probe and has asked at least two Republican lawmakers, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Fox News host Sean Hannity to voluntarily provide information to the panel.

Connect With Us Listen To Us On