House asks to save records of rioters
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 efforts to “challenge, delay or interfere” with the certification 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 confidential 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 efforts 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 theDonald.win.
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 infiltrate the Capitol and interrupt the certification 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 first reported by CNN as on the committee’s list.