Online Records Of Trump Accomplices Demanded By Jan 6 Committee


The House committee investigating the January riot at the Capitol has now requested troves of materials from social media companies relating to the riot and connected issues. As explained by POLITICO, the panel has asked social media companies including Facebook, Twitter, and the far-right site Parler “for all records and documents since April 1, 2020, relating to misinformation around the 2020 election, efforts to overturn the 2020 election, domestic violent extremists associated with efforts to overturn the election and foreign influence in the 2020 election.” Should the companies fail to comply, the investigative committee has the power to issue subpoenas.

These requests for documents emerged the same week that the panel sent similar requests to a slew of government agencies, including the Defense Department and National Archives. From the Defense Department, the committee wants records including those relating to the potential invocation of martial law — which was proposed by certain Trump allies amid the then-president’s desperate push to stay in power, while from the National Archives, the committee has requested materials including “all documents and communications within the White House” relating to Trump allies like Rudy Giuliani and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, the latter of whom was one of those to suggest martial law.

As for the social media sites, the riot investigation committee is also “asking all of the companies to explain whether their algorithms helped spread misinformation and account for what they did to address or remove content or posts that might have spread falsehoods about the riot,” POLITICO says. The committee has also requested information from each of the companies — some of whom might be more forthcoming than others — about their contacts with members of law enforcement in connection to insurrection-related issues. Numerous participants in the Capitol riot chronicled their involvement on social media and/ or used social media messaging functions to talk about what they’d done.

As is the case with the requests for documents from those federal agencies, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs the riot investigation committee, gave the social media companies two weeks to respond to the panel’s document requests. Meanwhile, the committee has already heard its first public hearing, which focused on the testimonies of local law enforcement officers who experienced the vicious violence of January 6 firsthand, and Thompson has “indicated” that he’d share the “focus” of the next hearing in coming days, according to the new POLITICO report.