House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) have warned telecommunications companies against sharing information with the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
McCarthy and Greene on Tuesday both suggested that the companies would face repercussions for complying with the committee’s request for data once Republicans are in control of the government. The committee asked 35 telecommunications and social media companies to supply it with the records on Monday.
Some of the requested records pertain to Greene and other Republican members of Congress who were involved in the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally supporting former President Donald Trump‘s false claims that he “won” the 2020 election, according to CNN. Shortly after the rally, the Capitol was breached by rioters who claimed that Trump was a victim of election fraud.
“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. “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.”
“This is leading us into waters that we’ve never been in in America,” Greene said during an appearance on Fox News‘ Tucker Carlson Tonight. “America was never meant to be a Communist country. But these are the tactics that Democrats are wanting to use.”
“These cell phone companies, these telecommunications companies, they better not play with these Democrats,” added Greene. “Because Republicans are coming back into the majority in 2022 and we will take this very serious… if they go along with this, they will be shut down. And that’s a promise.”
Greene and McCarthy expect Republicans to take control of Congress after the 2022 midterm elections. If Republicans do manage to win back control of the House and Senate, the White House is guaranteed to remain in Democratic hands until President Joe Biden‘s term expires on January 20, 2025.
It is not clear that Biden, who could potentially veto any legislation that a Republican Congress manages to pass, would support a bill to “shut down” telecommunications companies. Biden likely would not support a proposal to punish companies simply for complying with the committee’s request.
During Trump’s presidency, he repeatedly threatened to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects online platforms from legal liability involving third-party content, due to an alleged bias against himself and other conservatives on social media. Trump’s efforts ultimately failed despite some Republicans and Democrats supporting changes to the law.