Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has threatened telecom companies to not comply with the January 6 committee request for private phone records.
He argues that compliance with the demand would violate federal law, and warned that “a Republican majority would not forget.”
The congressional committee investigating the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol requested telecommunications companies to turn over phone records of President Donald Trump, his family members, and anyone they associate with.
As Conservative Brief reported last week, the former President overruled House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats’ request by stating he would invoke executive privilege to block requests for access to executive branch communications.
“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.
“Unfortunately, this partisan exercise is being performed at the expense of long-standing legal principles of privilege. 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,” he added. “These Democrats only have one tired trick—political theater—and their latest request only reinforces that pathetic reality.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Kevin McCarthy warned more than 30 companies, including Apple, AT&T, and Verizon not to comply with the request they received from congressional investigators on Monday.
“Adam Schiff, Bennie Thompson, and Nancy Pelosi’s attempts to strongarm 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,” McCarthy said in a statement.
“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 added. “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.”
According to USA Today, the January 6 committee has not identified whose records it is seeking to preserve, however, according to CNN, the list includes loyal supporters of former President Trump, including Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Matt Gaetz of Florida.
“These telecommunications companies, if they go along with this, they will be shut down and that’s a promise,” Greene said on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News.
The letters sent out by the congressional committee also sought records from social media companies, according to USA Today. The publication reported:
” Letters sent out Friday by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 violence seek internal reviews, data and communications about social media posts.
The House Select Committee is seeking records on policy changes social media companies made, or failed to make, to address the spread of misinformation, violent extremism and foreign influence, including decisions to ban content.
Records of contacts with law enforcement and intelligence agencies are also being sought.
Google said it was “committed to working with Congress on this.”
The events of January 6 were unprecedented and tragic, and Google and YouTube strongly condemn them,” the company said in a statement to USA TODAY. “We’re committed to protecting our platforms from abuse, including by rigorously enforcing our policies for content related to the events of January 6.”
Facebook said it looked forward “to continuing to work with the committee.” Twitter declined to comment.