Nearly three dozen companies, including Verizon, T-Mobile, Gab, Discord and Twitter, received requests from the January 6 select committee to retain the records in a letter dated Monday. While the names of officials covered were not included in public copies of the requests, the panel’s latest briefing offer is bound to be politically charged.
Outraged GOP lawmakers have already called the committee’s interest in their colleagues’ communications records an “authoritarian” overstepping on the part of Democrats. Although two anti-Trump Republicans now sit on the restricted panel, most voted against its creation, and GOP senators obstructed a bill that would have created an independent commission on January 6.
In a Friday letter to Thompson, sent ahead of an expected request for telephone tapes, Rep. Jim Banks (Ind.), One of the two Republican House Speakers, Nancy Pelosi, barred from serving on the select committee, said that the panel’s surveys had “no purpose.”
Congress has long had the power to control its own members – and often does so through the Ethics Committee – although it has rarely taken the step to seek their papers directly. But Democrats have made it clear that they see their departure as a justified response to the January 6 attack. And the selection panel’s request calls for a large amount of information, including metadata, text messages, and emails.
This is the third major request in days from the Jan.6 committee, which broadened its investigation last week with requests for documents from federal agencies and social media companies on the insurgency, extremism and efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The last time an investigation by such a high-profile committee took the unusual step of searching for congressional telephone tapes was during President Trump’s first impeachment inquiry from the United States. ‘era. House investigators then released details of the appeal which included contacts between Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) And Trump associates who were linked to his efforts to pressure Ukraine to she’s investigating Joe Biden.
While the committee’s demand for preservation is broad, it is unclear how much information the companies will voluntarily provide or the panel will ultimately need to take further steps to obtain. (Thompson has indicated that he will send out a more specific request for documents at a later date.) Some of the companies listed, like ProtonMail, have made their ability to encrypt or protect investigator requests a selling point for their users.
Among the officials whose communications might be of interest to the select committee:
Former President Donald Trump
One of the biggest unanswered questions of January 6 is what the White House and Trump were doing that day to answer. News organizations have revealed some of Trump’s actions, but the select committee may try to research the former president’s appeals as he tries to put together a more detailed timeline of the events of January 6. The only information reported on Trump’s Jan.6 conversations came voluntarily. of its allies.
Ohio Representative Jim Jordan
Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and a close ally of Trump, spoke to the former president more than once on January 6, as POLITICO reported on Sunday. While the existence of his appeals is already known to the public, the committee may seek to establish an exact timeline and match its contacts with what is already known about events in the White House and the Pentagon.
Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida
Gaetz, also a close ally of Trump, participated in one of Jordan’s phone calls with Trump, according to a source familiar with the call. This source said the two lawmakers asked the president to tell his supporters to step aside, a claim the committee will likely want more information about.
Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
Perry, who joined other Republican colleagues in the House in a bid to overturn the election results, also played a role in the Justice Department’s top unrest. He had helped introduce acting Civil Department chief Jeffrey Clark to Trump and told him that Clark was receptive to his baseless allegations of voter fraud, according to the New York Times.
Rep. Mo Brooks from Alabama
Brooks attended the rally outside the White House on January 6 and was also pursued by Representative Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Who alleged that he and other Trump allies instigated the insurgency. Brooks denies the allegations and has attempted to dismiss the lawsuit, saying he spoke at the rally in his official capacity as lawmaker. The case is still pending in federal court in Washington, DC.
Minority Parliamentary Leader Kevin McCarthy
McCarthy’s call with Trump on Jan.6 – and his description to colleagues of Trump’s response – was already in Trump’s second impeachment trial earlier this year. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) Said McCarthy described getting heated while urging the then president to dismiss his supporters and that Trump essentially defended the rioters by saying they seemed more upset than McCarthy by the election results.
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani
Giuliani also appears to have been involved in the effort to summon senators on Jan.6 as Trump and his allies tried to rely on Senate members to oppose the election results. One such call, in which Giuliani mistakenly called another person when he wanted to call Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Was posted online by The Dispatch.
Former Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman
Pittman was the head of the Capitol Police intelligence division during the insurgency, and his handling of the insurgency and the department’s preparation before the riot have come under scrutiny. A bipartisan report from two Senate panels found that officers said they only heard Pittman once on the radio during the attack, and not at all then leader Steven Sund.
State and local republicans
The Jan.6 committee is set to focus on Trump’s specific efforts to overturn the election that preceded that day. And the file is already rife with examples of unusual calls between the incumbent president and local election officials tasked with certifying the outcome of the 2020 vote.
Trump intimidated Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in early January, a call that Raffensperger himself said could trigger a criminal investigation. He spoke to two Michigan GOP election officials in an effort to convince them to scrap the state’s certification process. And he reportedly attempted to speak with state officials in other states Biden has won. The select committee seems interested in Trump before January. 6 communications with these officials as well.
Kyle Cheney contributed to this report.