The request for records is the first step in the committee’s investigative process and could indicate the direction they plan to go when they call witnesses.
It is not known what means the committee will use to force the telecommunications companies to cooperate with their request. The committee has subpoena power, but asking for information – especially from members of Congress – could lead to a long legal battle.
The committee has decided not to make public the names of lawmakers whose files they are targeting, three sources told CNN. But several sources familiar with the committee’s work confirmed to CNN at least part of the list including many members of Congress included in the request.
According to the sources, this group was targeted because the committee concluded that each of these lawmakers had a role in the “Stop the Steal” rally. They either attended, spoke, actively planned, or encouraged people to attend.
The list would be evolving and could be supplemented as the investigation intensifies. As of now, it includes Republican Representatives Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Paul Gosar also of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Madison Cawthorn from North Carolina, Matt Gaetz from Florida, Louie Gohmert from Texas, Jody Hice from Georgia and Scott Perry from Pennsylvania.
In addition to their connection to the rally, this group also represents some of Trump’s most loyal former supporters in Congress, many of whom continue to peddle Trump’s bogus claims about the 2020 election. Many of those members also voted against them. election results on the day of the uprising.
A spokesperson for the select committee declined to comment on lawmakers and Trump’s family members included in the list of records retention requests.
The chairman of the select committee, Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, had previously publicly stated that the committee would request phone records from “several hundred” people. In addition to members of Congress, CNN has learned that the committee will also be asking for the preservation of the files of the former president, as well as his daughter Ivanka, his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, as well as his daughter-in-law. . Act Lara Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is Trump Jr.’s girlfriend and worked on the campaign.
While asking for the phone records of these people comes as no surprise, there is one notable name that shouldn’t be included in this group of requests. Sources say the name of parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy was not included. McCarthy notably spoke to the former president during the height of the riot. The contents of this call should be of great interest to the committee. Thompson has not repeatedly ruled out calling McCarthy to testify before the committee if that’s where the investigation is going. This does not mean that the committee will never ask for its records, they are simply choosing not to do so at this stage of the investigation.
CNN has contacted members of Congress on the list for a response, but Republicans have already reacted negatively to the prospect of the committee asking for this information.
Greene said in a statement to CNN that the advance request was “quite an attempt to smear us and dismiss us. Or worse yet, jail the Democrats’ most powerful political enemies.”
Representative Jim Banks, who McCarthy had originally chosen to serve as a prominent member of the committee, but who was turned down by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sent a letter to Thompson on Friday, warning him of do not take this action.
“Searching the call logs of your colleagues would be a step away from more than 230 years of congressional oversight,” wrote the Republican of Indiana. “This type of authoritarian enterprise has no place in the House of Representatives and the information you seek has no conceivable legislative purpose.”
Jordan, who is among those whose committee is requesting records, warned last week that there could be political retaliation.
“I have nothing to hide,” he said, but added that “if they cross that line” Republicans will continue to ask questions about their fellow Democrats.