Companies That Comply With House Democrats’ Probe May Lose Ability to Operate in US: McCarthy

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
September 1, 2021 Updated: September 1, 2021

Social media and telecommunication companies that turn over information to House Democrats would be violating federal law, the top Republican in the lower chamber said Tuesday.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) decried efforts from House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, to obtain records from companies including Apple, Gab, Parler, and T-Mobile.

“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 said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

Thompson sent letters to 35 companies this week asking them to “preserve records relating to certain individuals who hold or have held accounts with your company from April 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021.”

Thompson told executives at the companies that his panel was seeking the preservation of the records as part of its probe into Jan. 6 and identified specific people about whom he wants information.

The identities were not made public.

The companies who received requests either could not be reached or did not respond to requests for comment.

Some had already received letters from the committee the previous week.

The panel responded to McCarthy by saying that it has “asked companies not to destroy records that may help answer questions for the American people” regarding Jan. 6, when protesters and rioters breached the U.S. Capitol during a joint congressional session.

“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,” the panel added in a social media post.

Schiff, the House Intelligence chairman, said on MSNBC that there is historical precedent for seeking records related to members of Congress, primarily during ethics investigations.

“I think participating in an insurrection, an armed insurrection against the government is among the most serious ethics violations you could imagine, if not more than that,” he said.

“I think that at the end of the day we’re determined that whoever was involved in this effort to prevent the peaceful transfer of power should not be able to hide behind their office. We want to develop all the facts,” he added. “If people were not involved in trying to overturn the government, they shouldn’t be concerned. But Kevin McCarthy clearly is, for a variety of reasons.”

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.