Eight House Republicans are now demanding that telecommunication companies preserve the phone records of Democrats.
It’s a trolling copy cat maneuver on the GOP’s part, following the bipartisan Jan. 6 select committee’s request for the preservation of phone records of GOP lawmakers in their investigation into the deadly Capitol insurrection. Many of the letter signees have been mad about the committee’s massive doc requests for the past week — primarily because some of them are clear targets of the probe due to their actions leading up to the insurrection.
On Tuesday night, several House Republicans sent a letter spearheaded by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) asking 14 telecommunications companies, which include social media giants Facebook and Twitter, to preserve the communication and phone records of Democratic lawmakers for “future investigative use.”
“The U.S. Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court precedent prevents committees from obtaining these records and prohibits you from providing them,” the group wrote.
“Simply put, neither the Committee nor you have the legal authority to provide those records,” the group continued. “Adopting the misguided legal theory of the House select committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) would undoubtedly end with Congress rifling through the private records of any American.”
The group then requested the preservation of records of 16 Democratic lawmakers so that “future Congresses can investigate alleged infractions.”
According to Fox Business, which first obtained the letter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Vice President Kamala Harris, House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) are among the Democrats that the House Republicans are targeting in its request to telecommunications companies.
In addition to Biggs, Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Jody Hice (R-GA), Scott Perry (R-PA), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Louie Gohmert (R-LA), Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) signed onto the letter.
House GOP lawmakers’ letter follows Bigg’s demand last week for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to 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.
Biggs’ demand for Kinzinger and Cheney’s ouster came a day after McCarthy issued a Trumpy gripe over the committee’s requests to 35 social media, email and telecommunications firms to preserve records that it believes are relevant to its investigation.
Last week, the committee sent preservation requests to firms that include Yahoo! Mail, USCellular, 4Chan, and encrypted messaging app Signal.
The committee did not indicate who the individual targets of the request are. However, CNN reported that Biggs is among the Republican lawmakers that the panel is requesting phone records from after the committee decided on who might have played a role in the “Stop the Steal” rally that took place hours before the deadly Capitol insurrection.
In addition to Biggs, the panel reportedly seeks the phone records of Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Greene, Gosar, Cawthorn, Gaetz, Gohmert, Hice and Perry.
Read the letter below:
@CongressmanHice @RepCawthorn @RepMattGaetz @RepScottPerry @replouiegohmert @RepGosar @RepMTG
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) September 8, 2021