“The special committee is investigating the violent attack on the Capitol and is trying to overturn the results of last year’s election,” a committee spokesman said in a statement when responding to McCarthy’s threat. “We asked companies not to destroy any records that could help answer questions raised by the American people. The efforts of the committee will not be deterred by those who want to gloss over or cover up the events of January 6th or obstruct our investigation. “
In relation to McCarthy’s complaint, congressional committees routinely used subpoena powers to obtain information from private companies, including telephone records, emails, and other communications. The Jan. 6 committee has not identified whose communications it is seeking, but it has made it clear that members of Congress are among the potential targets in what would be a departure from previous practice – one that members of the panel believe they are for consider justified in this case.
Investigators on the Democrat-led committee are looking for a broader picture of the communication between then-President Donald Trump and members of Congress during the attack. McCarthy is among the Republicans known to speak to Trump on Jan. 6.
Republicans have already described the investigation’s interest in telephone recordings as an “authoritarian” attack by the Democrats. Although two Republican anti-Trump lawmakers, Liz Cheney from Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, sit on the elected body, the majority of the party voted against the creation of the committee, and GOP senators filibused a bill that would have formed an independent commission, to investigate the Capitol Rebellion.
“If these companies comply with the democratic order to disclose private information, they violate federal law and may lose their legal capacity in the United States,” McCarthy said in a statement on Tuesday. “If companies still choose to break federal law, a Republican majority will not forget Americans and will stand by Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law.”
Schiff said Tuesday that McCarthy’s threat was “based on an untruth”.
“He’s scared. And I think his boss is scared,” Schiff said on MSNBC. “They didn’t want this commission and this select committee to move forward. They certainly didn’t want it to move forward on a bipartisan basis, and they do not that the country knows exactly what they were involved in.
“And Kevin McCarthy lives to do what Trump wants. But he’s trying to threaten these companies, and it shows once again why this man, Kevin McCarthy, is never allowed to go near the speaker’s office. “
Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu contributed to this report.