House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appeared to threaten telecom companies that are considering complying with requests for usage information on several Republican lawmakers sent by the Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee as part of its probe into the Capitol breach.
The panel, led by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., plans on issuing its request to several telecom companies for members of former President Donald Trump’s family as well as Republican lawmakers who attended his “Stop the Steal” speech that day.
The request for phone records likely reveals who the committee plans to call to provide testimony under oath at some point.
“It’s not clear how the committee plans to ensure compliance from telecommunications companies with its request,” the Daily Mail reported last week.
“The committee does have subpoena power but obtaining the records of members of Congress could set off contentious legal battles,” the outlet continued.
But in a statement Tuesday, McCarthy, a California Republican, warned the telecoms complying with the Jan. 6 request would result in violations of federal law, and that Republicans “will not forget” them if they return to the majority in Congress.
My statement on Democrats asking companies to violate federal law: pic.twitter.com/XELEVNbx65
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 31, 2021
“Adam Schiff, Bennie Thompson, and Nancy Pelosi’s attempts to strong-arm private companies to turn over individuals’ private data would put every American with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democrat politicians,” he said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“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,” McCarthy warned.
“If companies still chose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law,” he added.
The panel, whose only Republican members are anti-Trump critics Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, is seeking preserved phone records for Ivanka Trump Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Lara Trump, and Don Jr.’s girlfriend and former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle.
CNN adds that the committee has yet to make public the full list of names whose phone records are being sought.
“As of now, the list includes 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,” the Daily Mail reported.
Several Republicans whose names are reportedly on the panel’s request list fired back.
“#Socialists & ‘Pelosi Republicans’ (Cheney & Kinzinger) seek my phone records?” Brooks, who is running for the U.S. Senate next year, noted on Twitter.
“Three results: 1 Total waste of taxpayer money. 2 Boredom for who looks at my records. 3 Russian Collusion Hoax 2.0. Why not subpoena Socialists who support BLM & ANTIFA?” he added.
“Rifling through the call logs of your colleagues would depart from more than 230 years of Congressional oversight,” Banks wrote. “This type of authoritarian undertaking has no place in the House of Representatives and the information you seek has no conceivable legislative purpose.”
Monday’s letters from the Jan. 6 committee were sent to tech behemoths Google and Microsoft as well as all major cellphone networks.
Syndicated with permission from USA Features News.