January 6 committee to ask telecommunications companies to preserve phone records of members of Congress who participated in ‘Stop the Steal’ rally

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The House Select Committee investigating the deadly January 6 riot is acceptable to petition the telecommunications companies to sphere the telephone records of members of Congress who participated successful the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The House Select Committee investigating the deadly January 6 riot has requested that a radical of telecommunications companies sphere the telephone records of a radical of GOP members of Congress and erstwhile President Donald Trump, arsenic good arsenic members of the Trump family, who played immoderate relation successful the “Stop the Steal” rally that served arsenic the prelude to the Capitol insurrection.

The records petition is the archetypal measurement successful the committee’s investigatory process and could awesome the absorption they program to spell erstwhile they telephone witnesses.

It is unclear what means the committee volition usage to compel the telecommunications companies to cooperate with their request. The committee does person subpoena power, but requesting the accusation — particularly from members of Congress — could pb to a lengthy ineligible battle.

The committee did not marque nationalist the names of the lawmakers whose records they are targeting. But aggregate sources acquainted with the committee’s enactment person confirmed for CNN astatine slightest portion of database including galore of the members of Congress included successful the request.

According to the sources, this radical was targeted due to the fact that the committee concluded each of these lawmakers played immoderate relation successful the “Stop the Steal” rally. They either attended, spoke, actively planned oregon encouraged radical to attend.

The database is said to beryllium evolving and could beryllium added to arsenic the probe steps up. As of present it includes Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Paul Gosar besides of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Jody Hice of Georgia and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.

In summation to their transportation to the rally, this radical besides represents immoderate of erstwhile Trump’s astir loyal supporters successful Congress, galore of whom proceed to peddle Trump’s mendacious claims astir the 2020 election. Many of these members besides voted to entity to the predetermination results connected the time of the insurrection.

A spokesperson for the Select Committee declined to remark connected the lawmakers and members of Trump’s household included successful the preservation of records petition list.

Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, antecedently said publically that the committee would beryllium asking for the telephone records of “several hundred” individuals. In summation to the members of Congress, CNN has learned the committee volition besides petition the records of the erstwhile President beryllium preserved, arsenic good arsenic his girl Ivanka, his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, arsenic good arsenic his daughter-in-law Lara Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is Trump Jr.’s woman and worked connected the campaign.

The petition for the preservation of telephone records of definite lawmakers and members of the erstwhile President’s orbit were portion of a larger preservation petition to 35 societal media and telecommunication companies including Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Sprint. The committee besides made abstracted preservation requests to hunt motor and societal media companies similar Apple, Google, Facebook, Signal, Slack, YouTube, Twitch and Twitter.

The committee is specifically asking companies sphere the records of individuals who could service arsenic links betwixt those who were progressive with organizing oregon readying the rallies astir January 6 and unit committed the time of the insurrection.

The committee is besides specifically targeting individuals who person been charged by the Department of Justice oregon the District of Columbia for their affiliation with the onslaught and those who were attempting “to challenge, delay, oregon interfere” with the certification of the 2020 statesmanlike predetermination results. Acknowledging the wide nett of preservation requests it has made, the committee wrote, “As the Select Committee continues its work, we expect delivering to you papers requests for much circumstantial categories of information.” The committee besides stated that the petition did not presume wrongdoing connected the portion of those affected.

In its petition to Verizon for example, the prime committee asks that the compartment tract determination information, telephone information records and content, unreality oregon retention contented and subscriber accusation beryllium preserved. The committee besides asked that if the institution cannot respond to its petition without alerting the circumstantial subscriber oregon relationship successful question to interaction the committee directly.

“As Chairman Thompson previewed past week, the Select Committee contiguous sent letters to 35 private-sector entities, including telecommunications, email, and societal media companies, instructing them to sphere records which whitethorn beryllium applicable to the Select Committee’s investigation. The Select Committee is astatine this constituent gathering facts, not alleging wrongdoing by immoderate individual” a spokesperson for the Committee said successful a statement.

While asking for the telephone records of these individuals whitethorn not travel arsenic a surprise, determination is 1 notable sanction not expected to beryllium included successful this radical of requests. Sources accidental House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s sanction was not included. McCarthy notably spoke to the erstwhile President during the tallness of the riot. The contents of that telephone are expected to beryllium of large involvement to the committee. Thompson has repeatedly not ruled retired calling McCarthy to attest successful beforehand of the committee if that is wherever the probe leads. That doesn’t mean that committee volition ne'er petition his records, they conscionable are choosing not to astatine this signifier of the investigation.

CNN has reached retired to the members of Congress connected the database for a response, but Republicans person already reacted negatively to the imaginable of the committee requesting this information.

Brooks tweeted aboriginal Monday morning, “‘#Socialists & ‘Pelosi Republicans’ (Cheney & Kinzinger) question my telephone records? Three results: 1 Total discarded of payer money. 2 Boredom for who looks astatine my records. 3 Russian Collusion Hoax 2.0. Why not subpoena Socialists who enactment BLM & ANTIFA?”

Greene said successful a connection to CNN that the anticipated petition is “all an effort to smear america and region america from office. Or adjacent worse, enactment the strongest governmental enemies of the Democrats successful jail.”

Rep. Jim Banks, whom McCarthy primitively picked to service arsenic the ranking subordinate connected the committee but was turned distant by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sent Thompson a missive connected Friday, informing him against taking this step.

“Rifling done the telephone logs of your colleagues would depart from much than 230 years of Congressional oversight,” the Indiana Republican wrote. “This benignant of authoritarian undertaking has nary spot successful the House of Representatives and the accusation you question has nary conceivable legislative purpose.”

Jordan, who is among those whose records the committee is requesting, past week warned that determination could beryllium governmental retribution.

“I person thing to hide,” helium said, but added that “if they transverse this line,” Republicans volition support asking questions astir their Democratic colleagues.

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