The House committee investigating the Capitol riot is now going after the phone records of certain Trump allies in Congress, according to a new report from CNN. Those Trump allies include Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), and others, all of whom had some connection to the outdoor rally in D.C. where Trump delivered a speech on January 6 that immediately preceded the Capitol violence. The legislators included in the committee’s targeting “either attended, spoke, actively planned or encouraged people to attend” the event, as summarized by CNN.
Specifically, the committee “is set to request that a group of telecommunications companies preserve the phone records” of these individuals, as CNN explains, and the committee is also pursuing phone records of former President Donald Trump himself and certain members of his family along these same lines. As is the case with the members of Congress, the committee is focusing on Trump family members with ties to that January 6 rally, including Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Eric’s wife Lara Trump, and former Fox host Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is Trump Jr.’s girlfriend. Ivanka Trump is also targeted.
Should the telecommunications companies eventually refuse to comply with giving the sought materials to Congressional investigators, then the committee investigating the Capitol riot does have the power to issue subpoenas. A request for the companies to preserve the materials would seemingly precede a demand to actually hand them over.
The rally in D.C. that investigators are focusing upon involved a rehashing of the former president’s false claims about the integrity of last year’s presidential election, which he has consistently claimed — without any meaningful evidence — was somehow rigged for Joe Biden. Trump told the crowd that day that they needed to “fight” for the country, but his incitement of the Capitol violence did not consist of just one set of remarks. For months on end, he pushed the nonsense that the rioters used as a pretense — specifically, the claim that the election was rigged — and he even hyped up January 6 in particular as a day of action well before the actual day arrived.
Meanwhile, going after phone records of certain Trump allies in Congress, among others, is not the first such step that the riot investigation committee has undertaken. The panel has also issued document requests to a slew of federal government agencies, from the Defense Department to the National Archives. In the case of the National Archives, the committee requested materials including “all documents and communications within the White House” related to Trump allies like Rudy Giuliani and others. Giuliani, of course, was involved in Trump’s efforts to overturn Biden’s win — and he’s now under investigation for insurrection-related activities.