House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) threatened that “a Republican majority will not forget” if tech companies hand over U.S. citizen’s private messages to the congressional committee overseeing the investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The panel has requested that more than 30 telecommunications companies, including Apple and Verizon, save records from April 1, 2020, to Jan. 31, 2021 to preserve digital messages from protestors that they believe is relevant to their investigation.
The committee has made it known that members of Congress, likely Republicans, will be included in the records probe, as they seek to gather communications between former President Trump and conservative politicians during the riot. McCarthy has notably spoken with Trump during that time frame.
McCarthy put out a lengthy Twitter statement that called out Democratic committee members for trying to create a “surveillance state” and warned the companies involved that the request was a violation of the law.
“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,” McCarthy posted Tuesday.
“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 cautioned.
Then pointed out conservative politicians have a long memory and he believes they will be in power after the 2022 midterms. “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 finished.
In response to his statement, the Select Committee released a reply. “We’ve asked companies not to destroy records that may help answer questions for the American people,” a spokesperson said.
“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.”