Kevin McCarthy was on the phone with Trump during the attempted coup. He is very eager to make sure no one ever knows exactly what he and Trump spoke about. Several very different-- and conveniently contradictory-- versions of that conversation have been revealed. That's why the GOP sandbagged the creation of a sedition commission and it's why McCarthy had desperately fought against the creation of a select committee to investigate the coup attempt. It's also why McCarthy has spent so much effort on trying to de-legitimize the committee.
Now McCarthy is demanding that the telecommunications companies ignore the committee's request that they preserve phone records of individuals connected to the insurrection, warning the GOP "will not forget." Ranting like an insane person, the panic-stricken McCarthy insisted that complying with the request would put Americans "in the crosshairs of a surveillance state," and insisted, deceitfully and inaccurately that companies would also be "in violation of federal law" and "subject to losing their ability to operate." He further threatened that if the GOP wins the majority back in 2022, any of the 35 companies that received requests from Bennie Thompson which cooperate with the select committee will be held accountable. The 35 companies range from normal cellphone carriers like AT&T to communications giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft to more fringe right-wing networks like Parler, Gab, Signal and 4chan.
McCarthy claims that Chairman Thompson and Adam Schiff, another committee member, in attempting "to strong-arm private companies to turn over individuals’ private data" violates the law but doesn't say which one, since there isn't one. Schiff, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, rebutted McCarthy's absurd assertions in an appearance on MSNBC: "He’s scared. And I think his boss is scared. They didn’t want this commission and this select committee to go forward. They certainly didn’t want it to go forward as it is on a bipartisan basis, and they don’t want the country to know exactly what they were involved in. And Kevin McCarthy lives to do whatever Trump wants. But he is trying to threaten these companies, and it shows yet again why this man, Kevin McCarthy, can never be allowed to go anywhere near the speaker’s office."
Aside from McCarthy, House members likely endangered by the request include insurrectionists Mo Brooks (R-AL), Lauren Boebert (Q-CO), Gym Jordan (R-OH), Madison Cawthorn (Nazi-NC), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Marjorie Traitor Greene (Q-GA), Matt Gaetz, (R-FL), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Jody Hice (R-GA) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ).
Reporting for The Hill this morning, Rebecca Beitsch wrote that "Monday’s letters are not formal subpoenas, but they do ask the companies to maintain the confidentiality of those whose information is being requested. 'If you are not able or willing to respond to this request without alerting the subscribers or the accounts, please contact the Select Committee prior to proceeding,' the committee wrote in several of the letters... [A]nother request sent to many of the same companies last week asked for troves of data about disinformation surrounding the election as well as their internal reviews of different extremist groups, Monday’s letters asked the companies to retain records related more specifically to the unnamed individuals."
The letter to Google asks for all email messages, Google Drive files, and location history and deletion records. The request to Facebook and Twitter likewise asks for all communications. The phone companies included in the request have been asked to retain all text messages, cell site location data and call data, which would show who called whom and detail how long they spoke. Letters to the other websites ask more broadly for user data.
A Select Committee spokesman said the panel wouldn't be "deterred" in response to McCarthy's statement.
“The Select Committee is investigating the violent attack on the Capitol and attempt to overturn the results of last year’s election," the statement read. "We’ve asked companies not to destroy records that may help answer questions for the American people. 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 progressive Democrat taking on McCarthy-- so far with no help from the DCCC, of course-- is Bruno Amato. This morning he told me to "Watch for McCarthy to take another flight to Mar a Lago or another Trump property to find out what his next marching orders are. Any real leader would be telling those under him to fully cooperate with the select committee, but Kevin knows what we all do... He and some of his members coordinated on the insurrection and/or the cover up of it. McCarthy not only left one of his staff behind on January 6th, while he ran away with his security detail. He then phoned Trump to call off his goons. Those conversations and more need to be investigated and shared with the American public under oath." The DCCC is studiously ignoring that McCarthy has the first serious challenge since being elected to Congress. Please consider helping Amato end his political career by clicking on the 2022 Blue California thermometer above and contributing what you can.