Jan. 6 committee to seek lawmaker records
The select House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol plans to ask telecommunications companies to turn over the records of several hundred people, including lawmakers, the panel’s chairman, Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), told reporters Monday.
Thompson declined to identify which lawmakers’ records would be sought in the probe but said the committee is reaching out to tech and communications companies as well as social media platforms.
“We have quite an exhaustive list of people. I won’t tell you who they are, but it’s several hundred people that make up the list of people we are planning to contact,” he said when asked if the list included family members of former President Trump.
CNN was the first to report on the committee’s plan.
Thompson previously told reporters that the committee may use the August recess to issue subpoenas, but Thompson on Monday said the letters being drafted would instead notify the companies to retain the records.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of what happened, and, you know that whatever that is, may exonerate a bunch of people, may not; we’re just gonna do our work thoroughly and expeditiously,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), one of just two Republicans serving on the committee, told The Hill.
“We have people constantly trying to change the story and create misinformation, so we need answers.”
Thompson’s confirmation that lawmaker records would be sought is sure to renew focus on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and staunch Trump defender Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
McCarthy and Jordan have both confirmed they held separate phone calls with the former president on Jan. 6.
Investigators are particularly interested in those conversations as they try to figure out what actions Trump took after he delivered a speech outside the White House urging thousands of his supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell” to stop Congress’s certification of President Biden’s election victory.
Jordan has said he doesn’t recall what they discussed or what time he spoke to Trump. But he was an influential figure in the GOP effort to overturn the presidential election.
The content of McCarthy’s call has been more widely reported, with Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) saying the GOP leader told her about his frantic call with Trump that day begging him to call off his supporters.
“Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump said, according to Herrera Beutler, after McCarthy assured him it was Trump supporters attacking the Capitol.
—Updated at 8:06 p.m. Scott Wong contributed.