CREW is suing the Department of Defense over its failure to provide communications between department leaders and numerous others involved in the DOD’s response to the insurrection, including retired lieutenant general and conspiracy theorist Michael Flynn.

On November 16, 2021, the DOD’s Inspector General released a report reviewing DOD’s response to the events leading up to January 6th and the aftermath of the insurrection. Two weeks later, Col. Earl G. Matthews, who served as a top official with the District of Columbia National Guard on the day of the insurrection, alleged in a new report that top military officials Gen. Charles A. Flynn and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt lied to Congress and/or the DOD Office of the Inspector General about facts relevant to DOD’s response to repeated requests for the D.C. National Guard to be swiftly deployed to Capitol Hill. It is speculated that Gen. Flynn’s lies may have been at the instruction of Michael Flynn, Charles A. Flynn’s brother.

On January 26, 2022, CREW requested communications records from DOD between Charles A. Flynn, Michael Flynn and others involved in DOD’s response to the insurrection, including Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, Maj. Gen. Christopher LaNeve, Former U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Former Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller. The DOD acknowledged receipt of CREW’s request and informed CREW that it had redirected the request to the United States Army on February 3, 2022. Neither have provided further information since, despite CREW’s request for an update.

Given the failures of other federal law enforcement agencies to prepare for the violence on January 6th, it is even more crucial for records that would reveal the level of interference from powerful individuals like Michael Flynn to be made public as soon as possible. After resigning from Donald Trump’s cabinet and pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, Flynn demonstrated repeated support for Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, and later claimed in an interview that COVID-19 was deliberately engineered to steal the presidential election from Trump. He has been described as “one of the most dangerous individuals in America today” and reportedly made it an “immediate goal” to influence the 2022 elections.

Revealing the truth of DOD’s response to the insurrection and holding its leaders accountable is long overdue. If the DOD IG’s report on January 6 is characterized by lies, especially at the behest of a former intelligence agent and powerful conspiracy theorist such as Michael Flynn to keep Trump in power, the records of its real response must be made public as urgently as possible.

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