Oath Keepers Kelly Meggs, Connie Megs Sue January 6 Committee
A husband and wife couple of extremist militia members Oath Keepers sued the House committee investigating the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol, saying the committee’s subpoena for cellphone recordings would undermine the law. criminal conspiracy linked to January 6. case against them.
kelly meggs, the Florida section chief of the extremist militia Oath Keepers, and his wife Connie meggs are charged with conspiracy, obstruction of formal process, destruction of government property and other crimes related to the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. The couple, along with several other members of the Oath Keepers, joined the crowd of Donald trump supporters who invaded police on Capitol Hill in an attempt to prevent the Electoral College from certifying Joe bidenvictory in the 2020 presidential election.
They are also two of 18 defendants in a criminal case against Oath Keepers from several states who prosecutors say coordinated and prepared for the attack on Capitol Hill in the days leading up to Jan.6.
The couple sued members of the special House committee investigating the attacks, as well as the Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Alleging that the committee’s investigation into their alleged attempts to coordinate and plan the assault on Capitol Hill could expose them to harm in the criminal case.
On December 18, according to the complaint, the House committee served Verizon with a subpoena for “information relating to Ms. Meggs ‘Verizon account which also includes Mr. Meggs’ cell phone number on a family account plan. for the period of November 1. 2020, until January 31, 2021, which phone is used by Ms. Meggs and a family plan.
The summons would also seek to obtain the names and addresses of those on the account, phone numbers, length of service and other information, as well as records of all calls and messages. It is “too broad and highly prejudicial”, according to the complaint.
“The committee designated the January 6 protests as ‘terrorists’,” the complaint says. “This designation in a small jurisdiction such as the District of Columbia will create bias among potential jurors and prevent the Meggs from getting a fair trial.”
The lawsuit, filed Monday, is not short of jaw-dropping historical comparisons and dramatic rhetorical flourishes.
“The select committee summons violates the privacy of an American citizen, worse than what happened under the British Crown, Congress itself repealed these rights and protected telecom users like the plaintiff against piercing the confidentiality of their communications by its own statutes, ”the lawsuit said.
“Authorize an all-partisan congressional select committee to subpoena the personal data of the cell phones of Ms Meggs and her husband, alleged members of the Oath Keepers, an organization that was merely a supporter of President Trump and not listed as a ‘terrorist’ “Seeks to work a massive cooling of the rights of association and freedom of expression of current and future activists”, indicates the complaint. “What if the reverse were to happen to ‘Black Lives Matter’ activists during a Republican majority? No limit on date range or geography or people? There would be no one to challenge the power, and the First Amendment would actually be a speech sponsored by the government and big business. “
The complaint also poses the question, “What if Congress demanded information from anyone who did not donate or vote for the current incumbents?” “
According to the complaint, the House committee does not have the legal authority to issue the summons in the first place.
“[B]Because Congress cannot overturn the U.S. Constitution or overturn the First Amendment, Congress cannot investigate political beliefs, violate the Sixth Amendment and the right to a fair trial, or violate the Search and Seizure Act. Fourth Amendment, ”the complaint reads. “Because Congress does not have the power to end free speech or to repeal the First Amendment, it does not have the power to investigate political beliefs or the exercise of freedom of speech. ‘expression. In investigating the causes of the “terrorist attack”, Congress would by definition be investigating “political beliefs” since January 6 took place both on Capitol Hill, where politics are fundamental, and in connection with a rally for the outgoing president.
The complaint invokes the “conjugal communication privilege”, which is generally intended to protect communication between spouses. But the complaint does not appear to show that the communications were meant to be confidential or that they were not shared with a third party, two elements necessary to successfully claim the privilege.
The Meggs are seeking a declaratory judgment, including rulings that the Verizon subpoena is illegal, unenforceable, and serves no legislative purpose.
They are also asking for a declaratory judgment “that the select committee is acting for political purposes and not for legislative purposes,” and rulings which declare the subpoena violates First, Fourth and Sixth Amendment law, marital communications privilege.
Connie is charged with Conspiracy, Federal Obstruction, Destruction of Government Property, and Being in a Restricted Building or Land. Kelly faces the same charges, plus additional costs for falsifying documents and procedures; he is accused of having deleted data on January 7 from his cell phone in an attempt to prevent it from being used in the FBI’s investigation on January 6.
Connie and Kelly are represented respectively by Julie haller and Jonathon Moseley, who are also part of the couples’ respective legal teams.
Haller was previously involved in an effort to overturn the 2020 election, widely known as the ‘Kraken’ litigation, named after a lawyer analogy. Sidney powell to a mythical octopus-like monster dramatized in the movie “Clash of the Titans”. The litigation failed dramatically, leading a federal judge to send Haller, Powell and their co-counsel to their respective bars for possible disciplinary proceedings.
The Meggs trial is set for April 19, 2022.
Read the complaint below.
[Images via FBI.]
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