On Tuesday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) responded to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s request for telecommunication companies to provide the private communications of people associated with the January 6 Capitol Hill riot.
In a statement, McCarthy said that the select committee’s request would unnecessarily put America on track to become a full-blown surveillance state:
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.
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. 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.
My statement on Democrats asking companies to violate federal law: pic.twitter.com/XELEVNbx65
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 31, 2021
According to Politico, the select committee requested that over 32 telecommunications companies, including Apple, AT&T, and Verizon turn over phone and text records “from April 1, 2020, to Jan. 31, 2021.”
Select panel chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) asked the companies for specific individuals’ records, and while the names of those people were redacted from the publicly released orders, Thompson indicated last week that the request for communications of relevant individuals could touch on fellow lawmakers.
Investigators on the Democrat-led Jan. 6 committee are seeking clarity on phone calls between former President Donald Trump and members of Congress during the attack, among other communications. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) are among those known to have spoken with Trump on Jan. 6.
Beyond Rep. McCarthy, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who sits on the select committee, said the request for phone records had “no conceivable legislative purpose.”