In a written statement on Tuesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) declared that Republicans “will not forget” if private companies cave to pressure from Democrats’ January 6th committee and hand over customers’ private information to the committee, according to The Hill.
The statement comes after the committee, run almost entirely by Democrats appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), sent letters demanding that 35 different companies turn in phone and email records to the committee, specifically regarding the communications of anyone who participated in protests against voter fraud in the 2020 election. McCarthy warned that setting such a precedent for stealing Americans’ private communication information “would put every American with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democratic politicians.”
“If these companies comply with the Democrat order to turn over private information,” McCarthy’s written statement continued, “they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States.” Such a compromise of privacy, McCarthy pointed out, would be a violation of federal law, and something that “a Republican majority will not forget, and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law.”
Among the companies that received such demands from Pelosi’s committee were Big Tech giants Google and Microsoft, as well as alternative tech sites such as the messaging app Signal, the message board 4chan, and the Twitter alternatives Gab and Parler. Some of the specific individuals whose records were requested include former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones, and former Trump 2016 campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
A spokesperson for the committee responded to McCarthy’s statement by continuing to repeat falsehoods about the peaceful protests at the United States Capitol on January 6th, incorrectly referring to it as a “violent attack,” and an “attempt to overturn the results of last year’s election.” The spokesperson went on to say that “the committee’s efforts won’t be deterred by those who want to whitewash or cover up the events of January 6th, or obstruct our investigation.”