House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday warned dozens of communications companies against cooperating with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, saying that Republicans “will not forget” it if they retake the House.
Democrats’ “attempts to strong-arm private companies to turn over individuals’ private data would put every American with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democrat politicians,” McCarthy said in a statement posted to Twitter. The committee previously asked 35 companies to preserve records that could be relevant to its investigation into the Capitol attack and “efforts to delay or interfere” with the transfer of power after the 2020 election.
In his statement, McCarthy also accused Democrats of asking companies to violate federal law, however no specifics were given. McCarthy was immediately criticized by Democrats who accused him of violating House ethics rules and likened his statements to tampering with the congressional investigation.
“To me, that’s pretty straight-up intimidation and obstruction,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), a former prosecutor who served as an impeachment manager after the Jan. 6 attack, told ABC News. “It’s the congressional equivalent of ‘snitches get stitches.’ That’s kind of what he’s telling them” [ABC].