McCarthy Threatens Companies That Comply With Jan. 6 Inquiry

His own phone records could be subject to subpoena
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2021 7:52 AM CDT
McCarthy Threatens Companies That Comply With Jan. 6 Inquiry
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is threatening social media and telecommunications companies that comply with the House's investigation of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, while warning of a Democratic "surveillance state." The California Republican on Tuesday took issue with investigators' Monday request that more than 30 companies—including Apple, AT&T, and Verizon—preserve records relevant to the attack. He claimed compliance with the request to save records from April 1, 2020, to Jan. 31, 2021, would be a violation of federal law and "put every American with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democrat politicians," per Politico.

Appearing Tuesday on MSNBC, Rep. Adam Schiff said McCarthy and former President Trump are "scared" and "don't want the country to know exactly what they were involved in." The Democratic-led committee, which includes two anti-Trump Republicans, wants to get a handle on communications between Trump and members of Congress, including McCarthy, on Jan. 6, though there's been no request for records yet. "We've asked companies not to destroy records that may help answer questions for the American people," says a spokesperson. "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."

"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," McCarthy threatened, claiming such companies would be "subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States." CNN reports McCarthy's office would not provide "a specific federal statute that a company would be in violation of if it complied with a duly empaneled congressional committee." While the committee has subpoena power, requests for phone or social media records, especially those of members of Congress, could result in a legal fight, per CNN. (The committee already requested communications from the Trump White House.)

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