House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has warned companies that provide private user information due to requests made by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 Committee will face penalties from a future Congress controlled by Republicans.
McCarthy said that Republicans would not forget about violations if they retake control of the House and Senate after the 2022 midterm elections. He added that every American would be “in the crosshairs” of a Democrat surveillance state if the requested data is provided.
In addition to Pelosi, McCarthy called out Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) by name regarding the committee’s attempt to “strong-arm” companies into turning over private information.
Earlier this week, the January 6 committee began acquiring phone records for persons with social media accounts identified as being involved in the events of January 6 at the Capitol. The committee issued letters requesting that records be retained to more than 30 private contractors. The companies receiving requests include Google, Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, and several other significant communications and technology providers.
The committee is expected to name specific individuals in records requests that are to come, including President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers. Others expected to be targeted persons speaking at or organizing the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6.
McCarthy’s statement on August 31 said that if companies comply with committee requests, they will be “in violation” of federal law and may lose their ability to do business in the U.S. He also said that a Republican majority would stand with Americans to hold compliant companies “fully accountable” under federal law.
The January 6 committee has no members that McCarthy appointed due to veto power over appointments to the committee retained by Pelosi. The Speaker appointed Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) to give an appearance of bipartisanship. Both Republican members of the committee are notoriously anti-Trump. The committee has been granted the power to exercise Congress’s subpoena power.