House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned telecommunications companies on Tuesday not to turn over records to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as the Republican Party would come for them once they were back in power.
His blistering statement came after the select committee wrote to 35 companies asking them to preserve records of people suspected of being involved.
He said complying would, ‘Put every American with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democratic politicians.’
The requests seek phone records, email and other data.
Although the letters do not reveal targets, committee chairman Rep Bernie Thompson has previously suggested that he wanted records of members of Congress.
CNN obtained details of names on the list, which included: Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Paul Gosar also of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Jody Hice of Georgia and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.
House Minority Leader condemned the latest information request made by the select committee investigating the Jan 6 violence, saying it ‘put every American with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democratic politicians’
On Monday the committee wrote to 35 companies asking them to preserve records of people suspected of being involved in the violence after President Trump’s Jan 6 rally
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned telecom companies that the GOP ‘will never forget’ if the comply with demands to turn over records related to the Jan 6 violence
They are believed to have played a role in President Trump’s ‘Stop the Steal’ rally on the day of the violence and include some of his most dogged supporters.
Republicans pushed back quickly, saying it was all a waste of taxpayers money.
And McCarthy claimed telecoms companies would be in breach of American law, although he offered no further details.
‘If these companies comply with the Democrat order to turn over private information, they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States,’ he wrote.
‘If companies still choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law.’
Monday’s letters were sent to communications giants such as Google and Microsoft as well as all major cellphone networks.
They included requests to secure messaging app Signal, and social media networks favored by conservatives including Parler.
‘As Chairman Thompson previewed last week, the select committee today sent letters to 35 private-sector entities, including telecommunications, email, and social media companies, instructing them to preserve records which may be relevant to the select committee’s investigation,’ said a spokesperson.
‘The select committee is at this point gathering facts, not alleging wrongdoing by any individual.’
It marked the third request for information, after previously asking federal agencies for data and social media companies for details of disinformation.
Last week it emerged that the committee had demanded former President Trump’s mental health records.
Trump supporters rioted after he urged them to march on Congress during a speech at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in Washington D.C.
‘The Leftist “select committee” has further exposed itself as a partisan sham and waste of taxpayer dollars with a request that’s timed to distract Americans from historic and global catastrophes brought on by the failures of Joe Biden and the Democrats,’ Trump said in a statement.
‘Unfortunately, this partisan exercise is being performed at the expense of long-standing legal principles of privilege,’ he continued. ‘Executive privilege will be defended, not just on behalf of my Administration and the Patriots who worked beside me, but on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our Nation.’
‘These Democrats only have one tired trick—political theater—and their latest request only reinforces that pathetic reality.’
The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack released a slew of documents related to the probe on Wednesday, including interest in Trump’s mental health records.
Also requested from the White House was whether the former president considered using military force to remain as president after Joe Biden won the 2020 election.
The head of the committee fired off a series of sweeping demands for information on the last days of the Trump administration – with an effort to use photos, time stamps, and documents to recreate the day minute-by-minute.
Other requests demand any documents related to the Constitution’s 25th Amendment for cases where the cabinet seeks to remove a president for being ‘unable’ to discharge the duties of the office.