The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot that injured roughly 140 police officers and left five people dead has requested that 35 social media and telecom companies including Twitter, Facebook, AT&T, and Verizon preserve the personal communications of scores of people who may have been connected to the attack. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has countered by threatening that the Republicans will have their revenge on any outfit that cooperates.
“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 Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.
The Bakersfield Congressman continued, “If they pursue this path, a Republican majority will not forget and will be ready to hold them fully accountable under the law.”
Precisely what law McCarthy is referring to is anybody’s guess, but it’s not such a mystery why the legislator and some of his GOP pals might be nervous. A source familiar with the committee’s request tells the AP that the list of people whose communications it’s after includes Donald Trump, members of his family, and several Republican lawmakers. Last week, committee Chair Bernie Thompson (D-Miss) said that the confidential list of names numbers in “the hundreds.”
The committee—comprised of seven Democrats and two Republicans, including Liz Cheney, who was just tapped as vice chair—hasn’t officially requested the intel yet, but sent letters Monday asking the companies to “preserve metadata, subscriber information, technical usage information, and content of communications for the listed individuals” from April 2020 to January 31, 2021.
Specifically, the committee wants to look at the “content of communications, including all emails, voice messages, text or SMS/MMS messages, videos, photographs, direct messages, address books, contact lists, and other files or other data communications.”
So far, only Reddit and Facebook have said they will comply with the request.
Although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has suggested a link between some members of the rioting horde and members of Congress, Monday’s letters caution that “the inclusion of any individual name on the list should not be viewed as indicative of any wrongdoing by that person or others.”
Regarding McCarthy’s retribution oath, committee member and L.A. Rep. Adam Schiff told MSNBC on Wednesday, “He’s scared. And I think his boss is scared. 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.”
Schiff added, “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.”
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