House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) sent letters on Thursday to two dozen bus, car rental and hotel companies urging them to take action to prevent domestic terrorists from accessing their services following last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump’s supporters.
Maloney also asked company executives to keep records of service requests and reservations over the course of the month as a guide to potentially aid law enforcement or Congressional investigations.
“While the inciters and attackers bear direct responsibility for the siege on the Capitol and will be held fully accountable, they relied on a range of companies and services to get them there and house them once they arrived,” Maloney wrote.
“Trump supporters chartered scores of buses and vans and drove in caravans to the nation’s capital. They stayed in D.C. hotels, with videos showing attackers relaxing in the lobby of one hotel after the insurrection,” she added.
The letters seeking to block extremists from accessing services needed to carry out their activities come as the FBI warned of potential armed attacks ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration as the nation’s 46th president on Jan. 20.
The chairwoman praised a swath of companies who have “voluntarily taken action” to stop domestic terrorists from using their services to support further violence, while urging scores more — including Greyhound, Megabus, Hertz, Hilton and the Marriott, and many others — to follow suit.
Airbnb said on Wednesday that in light of the U.S. Capitol attack it would “cancel reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during the Inauguration week” and block new reservations in the area.
The congresswoman’s letters stopped short of calling for the unilateral cancellation of reservations, instead asking the companies to put in place “additional screening measures” to help prevent the misuse of their services for violence or domestic terrorism, and urging them to provide copies of those procedures to the committee.