House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy warned companies against turning over phone records to the January 6 investigators. He said that those who cooperate will face backlash. He warned these companies that a future “Republican majority will not forget.”
McCarthy Calls Out Democrats For Requesting Phone Records During Capitol Riot
In addition, McCarthy also called out Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), Bennie Thompson (D-MI), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for their intimidation tactics.
He accused the Democratic leadership of trying to “strong-arm private companies to turn over individuals’ private data” for this investigation. He warned that doing so can “put every American with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democrat politicians.”
As part of their ongoing investigation into the January 6 capitol riots, the select House panel wanted phone records of the participants. They requested the information from a number of tech and telecommunications companies such as Apple, AT&T, and Verizon.
The records for data covered the period between April 2020 to January 2021. Also, it might include records from lawmakers seen to participate in the riots.
Statement Issued by The Select Committee
The House Select Panel issued a statement replying to McCarthy’s assertions. It said that the Select Committee is investigating the Capitol riots.
“We’ve asked companies not to destroy records that may help answer questions for the American people. The committee’s efforts won’t be deterred by those who want to whitewash or cover up the events of January 6th, or obstruct our investigation,” it added.
In general, congressional committees routinely ask for private data from companies. This includes phone records, emails, and other means of communication.
The Select Committee has yet to specify which individuals are up for investigation. However, the panel made it clear that the list will include some members of Congress. They said that including some participants is necessary for this case.
The investigators want to know more about communications between former President Donald Trump and members of Congress during the riots. McCarthy himself talked to Trump on that day.
Request for Phone Records An Authoritarian Overreach
As a result, Republicans condemned the request for phone records as an authoritarian overreach by Democrats. While the majority of the panel’s members are from the Democratic Party, two members are from the GOP.
These are Representatives Liz Cheney (WY) and Adam Kinzinger (IL), who are both critics of the former President. During the formation of the panel, Republican lawmakers voted against the committee’s creation. In addition, GOP senators filibustered a bill aiming to create an independent commission to investigate the Capitol insurrection.
“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 said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Schiff: ‘McCarthy Scared’
Schiff dismissed McCarthy’s threats, saying he based his statement on a falsehood. “He’s scared. And I think his boss is scared,” Schiff said. “They didn’t want this commission and this select committee to go forward.
They certainly didn’t want it to go forward as it is on a bipartisan basis, and they don’t want the country to know exactly what they were involved in. And Kevin McCarthy lives to do whatever Trump wants.
But he is trying to threaten these companies, and it shows yet again why this man, Kevin McCarthy, can never be allowed to go anywhere near the speaker’s office,” Schiff concluded.
Watch the MSNBC news video reporting that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens tech companies over GOP phone records:
Do you agree with releasing phone records of the January 6 riot participants, especially members of Congress? What do you think will come out of this investigation?
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