House Freedom Caucus chair Andy Biggs (R-AZ) on Wednesday demanded that Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) boot Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) — the two Republicans serving on the Democratic-led Jan. 6 committee — from the GOP conference, following the panel’s reported inclusion of Biggs in its request for telecommunications companies to preserve the phone records of Republican lawmakers.
In a letter to McCarthy obtained by CNN, Biggs demanded a change to the rules for the GOP conference due to some members choosing to “work with the Democrats to investigate and potentially remove Republican Members from the House.”
Biggs goes on to offer a revisionist take on the events of Jan. 6 by denying that it was an insurrection. Without evidence, Biggs accused Cheney and Kinzinger of being “two spies for the Democrats” that participate in the GOP conference’s meetings “despite our inability to trust them.”
Biggs attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) over her rejection of Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) to serve on the panel, citing McCarthy’s move to yank the rest of his selections for the committee following Pelosi’s move, before pivoting back to calling for Kinzinger and Cheney’s ouster from the GOP conference.
“Congresswoman Cheney and Congressman Kinzinger defied the request, offering to aid the Democrats in their investigation,” Biggs wrote. “We cannot trust these Members to sit in our Republican Conference meetings while we plan our defense against the Democrats.”
NEWS w/ @mkraju: Andy Biggs, Freedom Caucus chair, is sending a letter calling on McCarthy to remove Cheney & Kinzinger from GOP Conference for their roles on 1/6 select committee.
Says he wants GOP to be able to “strategize” and “protect our own” w/o having "spies" at meetings. pic.twitter.com/nR8x7PIdXM
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) September 1, 2021
Biggs notably fired off his letter to McCarthy a day after the House minority leader issued a Trumpy gripe over the Jan. 6 committee’s requests to 35 social media, email, and telecommunications firms to preserve records that it believes are relevant to its probe into the deadly Capitol insurrection.
On Monday, the committee sent preservation requests to firms that include Yahoo! Mail, USCellular, 4Chan, and encrypted messaging app Signal.
Although it’s unclear who the individual targets of the request are, CNN reported that Biggs is among the Republican lawmakers that the panel is requesting phone records from after it concluded that each of them played some role in the “Stop the Steal” rally that happened hours before the deadly Capitol insurrection.
In addition to Biggs, the panel reportedly seeks the phone records of Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Jody Hice (R-GA) and Scott Perry (R-PA).
Correction: The original headline incorrectly stated that Biggs’ phone records were requested by the Jan. 6 committee. As the story reports, the committee has merely asked the telecommunications companies to preserve records at this point.