House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) threatened Big Tech companies against complying with requests from the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The committee made the first step in seeking digital messages between politicians and the protesters who rioted at the Capitol by asking tech companies to preserve documents relevant to the attack. Politico reported that more than 30 companies, including Apple and AT&T, have received the request from the committee.
McCarthy fired off a statement of warning Tuesday to those companies and singled out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for scorn over the request.
"Adam Schiff, Bennie Thompson, and Nancy Pelosi's attempts to strong-arm private companies to turn over individuals' private data would put every Americans with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democrat politicians," wrote McCarthy.
"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 warned.
"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," he concluded.
McCarthy was referring to the upcoming midterm elections where many believe that Republicans will regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Many on the right have accused the Big Tech companies of selectively enforcing their content moderation regulations to push a left-wing political agenda. Some have demanded Congress repeal legal protections granted to tech companies that are found in Section 230 of the Communications Act.
McCarthy had previously lambasted the committee for what he saw as a highly partisan investigation at a time when the Biden administration is facing criticism for the debacle in Afghanistan.
Two Republicans sit on the panel, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, both of which are outspoken critics of former President Donald Trump.
Here's more about the Big Tech request from the committee:
Kevin McCarthy reacts to Jan. 6 committee seeking lawmaker records www.youtube.com