House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued a threat to telecom companies if they comply with document requests from the January 6 committee, CNN reports.
The panel investigating the January 6 Capitol riot sent document preservation requests to dozens of telecom and social media companies this week, ordering them to turn over documents related to communications surrounding the Capitol attack, including from members of Congress.
McCarthy responded by issuing a threat on Twitter.
"If these companies comply with the Democrat order to turn over private information, they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States," he said. "If companies still choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law."
McCarthy’s office did not say which federal law a company would violate if it complied with a congressional committee’s request.
Taylor Greene threatens shutdown:
Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene went even further, threatening to somehow “shut down” companies that comply with the committee.
"If these telecommunications companies, if they go along with this, they will be shut down. And that's a promise," she said, without elaborating how that would actually happen.
"If members of Congress can have their personal cellphone data exposed ... just to hurt us politically in the next election, then we are going into a dangerous place in this country," she argued, predicting that Republicans will win back the House and “will take this very serious.”
Democrats suggest criminal referral:
California Democrat Eric Swalwell said that Congress should “consider a criminal referral for witness tampering/intimidation and obstruction of justice” against McCarthy.
“I've prosecuted people for doing less on smaller scale cases,” he told CNN.
"McCarthy just made the Congressional equivalent of a 'Snitches Get Stitches' threat,” he added on Twitter. “When people do that in our communities we hold them accountable. If we have no law and order we've lost everything."
Norm Eisen, a House ethics expert, said that McCarthy’s comments warrant an ethics investigation.
"What can be more discreditable then the leader of the House minority openly shaking down companies to break the law and hide evidence from a legitimate investigation that may implicate him and his colleagues,” he told CNN.