The House committee tasked with investigating the events leading up to and during the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 has announced that its members are seeking phone records of several key figures in the attack, including those of some members of Congress.
The committee plans to send letters to telecommunications companies this week to preserve relevant records, as first reported by CNN. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), the committee chairman, says that he hopes to issue subpoenas by the end of the month.
“I won’t give you the names [of the companies]. But, you know, in terms of telecom companies, they’re the ones that pretty much you already know, maybe the networks, the social media platforms, those kinds of things,” Thompson told reporters, per Politico. “We’ll look at all records at some point. It won’t be tomorrow.”
If the companies don’t comply with the voluntary order by the committee, then the committee will order subpoenas for the information, Thompson said. The group is seeking records on several hundred people, according to the lawmaker, including several members of Congress.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the committee may also be looking to obtain phone records from the White House from January 6. It’s still unclear whether or not the committee will be doing so.
Asking companies to preserve phone records could lead the investigatory process toward witness testimony later on, writes CNN. With members of Congress potentially implicated, the committee’s phone record probe could lead to dramatic revelations about politicians’ ties to the attack.
Several lawmakers’ names have been raised in connection with the Donald Trump-sponsored attempted coup over the past months. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) both talked on the phone with Trump on the day that the violent right-wing mob breached the Capitol.
Jordan and McCarthy have been evasive about the substance of their conversations with Trump. Minority Leader McCarthy also recruited Jordan to help him sabotage the January 6 committee, back when Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) was seeking input from McCarthy on committee members. The California Republican did so after weeks of reports saying that he may be one of the members subpoenaed to testify before the committee.
There could also be some not-so-obvious members of Congress whose deeds surrounding the attack may come to light. Representatives Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) and Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) were named by one of the organizers of the “Stop the Steal” movement for helping him coordinate the attack. Though Rep. Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) has managed to stay out of the spotlight in the past months, he also received a call from Trump as the mob breached the Capitol.
Some members have also been accused of leading “reconnaissance” tours for the attackers to show them the layout and inner workings of the Capitol. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) is one such member who was seen leading a large group of visitors in a tunnel that leads to the Capitol several days before the attack.
It’s still unclear which members of Congress will be subject to the probe by the committee, but the results could be illuminating. The first hearing held by the committee confirmed the violence and the fear it engendered that day. Information from the phone records could help shed light on those responsible for organizing the violent uprising that day.