While the establishment would like nothing more than for Mike Lindell to shut up and sit down, he’s a fighter that’s more than willing to ignore the elites in the D.C. Swamp and stand up for what he believes in.
Now, his refusal to go silently into that good night is back in the news. Rather than complying with the Pelosi-dominated Jan. 6th panel and submitting his phone records and other personal data to the partisan hacks on it, he’s counterattacking and suing the Jan. 6th commission over the subpoena for his phone records.
That counterattack was launched Wednesday, the deadline for filing any legal action in the court. The MyPillow CEO is using the suit to block the panel and keep his personal phone records private by invalidating the commission’s subpoena, which would require Verizon to turn over his phone records for November 2020-January 2021.
If he wins, he’ll not only protect his personal information from a gang of vengeful partisans, but also jab a massive thumb in Pelosi’s eye on the eve of her much-anticipated retirement.
The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court of Minnesota, provides helpful background information on what the January 6th Committee wants from Mr. Lindell (his phone records) and premises its request for relief on the idea that:
Mr. Lindell […] associates with numerous other persons who may or may not be public figures, whose identity and association with him is not publicly known, who wish to have such contacts remain confidential. Disclosure of those contacts will chill if not end such informational and organizational efforts. Mr. Lindell engages in direct lobbying of elected officials, and encourages others to do the same. Compelling disclosure of Mr. Lindell’s religious and political activities and associations is a violation of his First Amendment Freedom of Association rights, Free Exercise of Religion rights, as well as Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Press, and Freedom of Assembly rights.
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Similarly, the next section of the suit argues that:
Some who have associated with Mr. Lindell to assist and inform his exercise of free speech, political expression, and religious expression have intentionally kept their association with him confidential, out of fear that they will suffer retaliation, harassment, and loss if their association with Mr. Lindell is made public. Mr. Lindell, likewise, desires to protect the confidentiality of those who provide him with assistance and information, so that citizens are not deterred from providing him with assistance and information in the future.
Later, the suit reinforces those claims by arguing that Mr. Lindell is a journalist, and thus has the right to protect the identities of his confidential informants.
Beyond First Amendment claims, Mike argues that the subpoena violates his Fourth Amendment rights, saying that “[t]he Subpoena cannot be enforced because it violates Mr. Lindell’s Fourth
Amendment right to be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
In addition to making arguments about his Constitutional rights, Mike also argues in the suit that the subpoena exceeds the panel’s authority, claiming that:
The scope of the Subpoena is overbroad and intrusive. It would force disclosure of private communications between Mr. Lindell and persons with whom he has associated in pursuit of shared political and religious objectives without regard for whether those communications relate to the authorized subject and purposes of the Select Committee’s investigation.
Mike also argues that the subpoena is just “a veiled effort to conduct an unauthorized criminal investigation, and it is not in furtherance of a valid legislative purpose.”
The relief requested by Mike, which the suit makes clear is meant to protect the confidentiality of his informants and defend the right of freedom of speech, is far from unreasonable. As the lawsuit states the request for relief:
Mr. Lindell brings this action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to invalidate the Subpoena on several grounds and to prohibit its enforcement. In the alternative, Mr. Lindell seeks an opportunity to review the information sought by the Subpoena in advance of any production by Verizon so that he may assert any applicable claim of attorney-client or other privilege before the information is produced to the Select Committee.
Still, despite the reasonableness of the relief he requests and his many potentially valid arguments about the need to protect the identities of his confidential informants, it remains to be seen just how effective this lawsuit will be.