The Oklahoman

House asks to save records of rioters

- Mary Clare Jalonick

WASHINGTON – The House committee investigat­ing the Jan. 6 insurrecti­on at the U.S. Capitol is asking social media and telecommun­ications companies to preserve phone or computer records for hundreds of people who were potentiall­y involved with efforts to “challenge, delay or interfere” with the certification that day of President Joe Biden’s victory or otherwise try to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

In a letter Monday to 35 companies, the committee’s Democratic chairman asked for the preservati­on “of records relating to certain individual­s who hold or have held accounts with your company” from April 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021.

The committee did not release the list of people targeted, but it includes former President Donald Trump, members of his family and several of his Republican allies in Congress, according to a person familiar with the confidential request who requested anonymity to discuss it.

“The Select Committee seeks the preservati­on of these records as part of its examinatio­n of the violent attack on the Capitol and the broader context of efforts to delay or interfere with the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 election,” Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississipp­i wrote in the

letters to the companies, which range from cell phone giants AT&T and Verizon to social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and TikTok to conservati­ve and far-right platforms Parler, 4chan and

Thompson said last week that the committee will request the records preservati­on for “several hundred people” as the committee begins its probe into the insurrecti­on, in which hundreds of Trump’s supporters seeking to overturn the election stormed the Capitol, beat police, broke through windows and doors and sent lawmakers running for their lives. The letters do not ask the companies to turn over the records, though the committee could do so in the future.

The letters are the third such request as the committee gathers informatio­n on the origins of the riot and the details of what happened that day. The probe could take months or even years, as the Democrat-led panel conducts interviews, holds public hearings and prepares a comprehens­ive report on how the mob was able to infiltrate the Capitol and interrupt the certification of Biden’s presidenti­al victory.

It was the most serious assault on Congress in two centuries.

Among the hundreds of names are Trump’s and those of several family members, including his children Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric, according to the person familiar with the request. Also on the list are several of Trump’s most ardent Republican allies in Congress, including GOP Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Jody Hice of Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Scott Perry of Pennsylvan­ia, Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina.

Several of those House members spoke to Trump as the rioting was unfolding. Their names were first reported by CNN as on the committee’s list.

 ??  ?? A House committee will request records preservati­on for “several hundred people” involved in the riot at the U.S. Capitol. JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP
A House committee will request records preservati­on for “several hundred people” involved in the riot at the U.S. Capitol. JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP

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