Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy finally found something about Jan. 6 he will never forget: Telecom companies that turn over the phone records of GOP lawmakers to the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol siege.
“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,” McCarthy said in a statement Tuesday. “A Republican majority will not forget,” he added.
Naturally, McCarthy doesn’t exactly have a handle on the facts. It’s not just Democrats since the committee is bipartisan; nothing has been ordered yet, the panel simply asked some 30 telecom and social media companies to preserve the records of Donald Trump, his family members, and his GOP allies; and finally, there’s nothing unlawful about complying with a congressional subpoena. In fact, if the companies were to be subpoenaed, they would be legally bound to respond.
“Even if there is arguably a competing legal obligation or privilege that might trump the subpoena, I know of no principle that requires any subpoena recipient to risk contempt in order to protect the interests of their customers,” Mark Stern, formerly with the nonpartisan House counsel office, told The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent.
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out what’s happening here. The GOP cover-up of what exactly happened on Jan. 6 has moved from a disinformation campaign to bona fide threats as the panel starts getting closer to the truth.
“He’s scared. And I think his boss is scared,” Rep. Adam Schiff of California told MSNBC of McCarthy and Trump. “They didn’t want this commission and this select committee to go forward. They certainly didn’t want it to go forward as it is on a bipartisan basis, and they don’t want the country to know exactly what they were involved in.”
But McCarthy isn’t the only Republican cracking under pressure. The guy who bragged about wearing body armor to the Jan. 6 rally and told Trump’s revelers to “start taking down names and kicking ass” has thoughts.
In an appearance on the right-wing site Newsmax, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama argued he wasn’t “at all worried” about his communications that day. However, he hastened to add, “I don’t believe that they should be allowed to go on a fishing expedition, a witch hunt, a star chamber—whatever you want to call it—expedition, where they’re just trying to go after 10 Congressman without following the 4th amendment probable cause requirements.”
Brooks’ loose association with the law most likely caused him to misstate the probable cause requirements that don’t actually exist for issuing a subpoena. But he sure did throw out an array unseemly characterizations about the committee’s intent. Something for everyone—take your pick! Brooks just happens to be among the dozen or so House Republicans whose records were reportedly of interest to the select committee.
Right along side him is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia—yet another vision of calm in the eye of the storm. On Fox News this week, Greene told Tucker Carlson the telecom companies “who go along with this,” otherwise known as abiding by the law, “they will be shut down—and that’s a promise.”
Actually, that’s more than a promise. That’s obstruction wrapped in a threat, according to Norman Eisen, former Obama-era White House ethics counsel. Which brings us right back to McCarthy.
“It’s Orwellian,” Eisen told Sargent of McCarthy’s intimidation. “If these telecom companies fail to comply with the requirement to preserve these records, if they did what Kevin McCarthy wants … that would be a violation of law.”
“It raises serious questions under the House ethics rules and other laws for Kevin McCarthy himself,” Eisen added.
Hey, sometimes in order to evade the law, you just have to go ahead and break it—it’s a GOP rite of passage now.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.