Monday 30 August 2021

Democrats on January 6 committee demand phone records of all Trump family members and Republican lawmakers who attended the January 6 'Stop the Steal' rally

 Democrats on the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot are planning to request that telecommunications companies preserve the phone records of Trump family members and Trump-aligned lawmakers who attended the 'Stop the Steal' rally on Jan. 6, it was revealed on Monday.

The records request could determine who the committee plans to call forth as a witness.

It's not clear how the committee plans to ensure compliance from telecommunications companies with its request. The committee does have subpoena power but obtaining the records of members of Congress could set off contentious legal battles.

The committee is requesting preserved phone records of Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Lara Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle, Don Jr.'s girlfriend. 

The committee has not made public the full list of names it is requesting, according to CNN.

Sources revealed a partial list, which included those in some way involved in the 'Stop the Steal' rally which precluded the riot.

Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guillfoyle kiss as Trump supporters by the White House ahead of his 'Stop the Steal' speech
Eric Trump and his wife Lara raise their fists at the 'Stop the Steal' rally

The committee is requesting preserved phone records of Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Lara Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle, Don Jr.'s girlfriend

As of now, the list includes Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Paul Gosar also of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Jody Hice of Georgia and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.   

Republicans scoffed at the idea of looking into their phone records, which Brooks called a 'total waste of taxpayer money.'  

'#Socialists & “Pelosi Republicans” (Cheney & Kinzinger) seek my phone records?' the congressman wrote on Twitter. 

'Three results: 1 Total waste of taxpayer money. 2 Boredom for who looks at my records. 3 Russian Collusion Hoax 2.0. Why not subpoena Socialists who support BLM & ANTIFA?' 

On Friday, Banks sent Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who chairs the committee, a letter warning him against such a step. 

'Rifling through the call logs of your colleagues would depart from more than 230 years of Congressional oversight,' the Indiana Republican wrote. 'This type of authoritarian undertaking has no place in the House of Representatives and the information you seek has no conceivable legislative purpose.'  

The committee last week released a slew of documents related to the probe on Wednesday, including interest in Trump's mental health records.

Also requested from the White House is whether the former president considered using military force to remain as president after Joe Biden won the 2020 election. 

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., is among those whose phone records will be investigated by the Jan. 6 committee

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., is among those whose phone records will be investigated by the Jan. 6 committee 

Thompson said he'll seek the phone records of several hundred people as part of the probe.

The Mississippi Democrat declined to identify which lawmakers would be sought but told reporters on Capitol Hill his committee is reaching out to not only tech and communications companies abut also  social media platforms for hundreds of records from that day.

'We have quite an exhaustive list of people. I won't tell you who they are, but it's several hundred people that make up the list of people we are planning to contact,' he said when asked if the list included Trump's family members.   

Other requests demand any documents related to the Constitution's 25th Amendment for cases where the cabinet seeks to remove a president for being 'unable' to discharge the duties of the office.

The panel wants the Pentagon to hand over information on the use of the Insurrection Act, communications on 'the establishment of martial law,' and information on 'defying orders from the President.'

The requests also seek out detailed information about personnel changes at the Pentagon in the last weeks of the Trump administration, as Trump installed political loyalists and former Defense chiefs warned the military must stay out of politics.

Taken in total, the requests indicate an aggressive effort to patch together a full accounting both of Trump's effort to overturn the election results by searching through a trove of government data and documents to reconstruct his efforts, as well as catalogue internal resistance. 

Meanwhile, Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan has changed his account of the January 6 Capitol riot, now saying he spoke with former President Trump 'more than once' during the attack. 

'Look, I definitely spoke to the president that day. I don't recall - I know it was more than once, I just don't recall the times,' the conservative lawmaker told Politico in its Sunday newsletter.

The revelation comes a week after the Democrat-led January 6 committee announced it would be looking into phone records and text messages from potential witnesses including Republican members of Congress.

At least one of the calls occurred in the safe room where he and others were held while violent Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. He said he was 'sure' of the fact because they were 'in that room forever.'

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, also a staunch Trump ally, joined Jordan on the safe room call, another source told the outlet. 

They reportedly pled with the ex-president to tell the rioters to stop, but it's unclear how he responded.

Jordan wouldn't admit whether or not Gaetz was on the call and didn't go into specifics on what he and Trump discussed, but added that he wanted the National Guard to step in. 

Gaetz also didn't get into specifics when asked. 

'Congressman Gaetz speaks with President Trump regularly and doesn't disclose the substance of those discussions with the media,' his spokesperson told Politico. 

Jordan revealed last month that he spoke with Trump the day of the MAGA riot - but only mentioned one conversation. 

'I spoke with him on January 6. I mean I talk with President Trump all the time,' he told Spectrum News in July. 'I don't think that's unusual.'

When pressed the lawmaker said he spoke with Trump after the riot, then quickly backpedaled and said he didn't know exactly 'when those conversations happened' or if he spoke with him 'in the morning or not.'

Jordan is changing his tune just a week after Speaker Nancy Pelosi's bipartisan January 6 commission announced its intention to seek the phone records of GOP legislators and Trump associates as part of its ongoing probe.

Jordan is one of several Republican lawmakers who reportedly spoke with Trump on January 6 (pictured: the ex-president arriving at Trump Tower on August 22)

Jordan is one of several Republican lawmakers who reportedly spoke with Trump on January 6 (pictured: the ex-president arriving at Trump Tower on August 22)

Jordan said at least one conversation occurred in a safe room where lawmakers were being held while Trump supporters stormed the Capitol

Jordan said at least one conversation occurred in a safe room where lawmakers were being held while Trump supporters stormed the Capitol

A source claims Rep. Matt Gaetz (left) was involved in one of the calls to Trump

A source claims Rep. Matt Gaetz (left) was involved in one of the calls to Trump reached out to Jordan's office for comment on the Democrat-led committee's hunt for GOP phone records last Tuesday but has not heard back.

Jordan is one of several Republican lawmakers claiming to have spoken with Trump on January 6. 

Another is House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who reportedly asked Trump 'Who the f--- do you think you're talking to?' in a tense call after begging him to call his supporters off.

McCarthy nominated five Republicans to serve on the committee, including Jordan, but withdrew his picks in outrage after Pelosi refused to seat Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks.

She later said Banks and Jordan's nominations 'outrageous' and 'not serious' during a virtual summit.

'I mean, they probably - well, look, we'll see what the committee finds out about them,' she warned. 'But they weren't going to be on the committee.'

She said the pair would be nothing but 'antics and clowns' and accused them of being 'participants of the Big Lie' that Joe Biden stole the election from Trump.

Both lawmakers voted against certifying the election results - which Pelosi said she did not hold against them.

'I didn't really care if they had voted to accept the results of the election. All I really wanted them to be is willing to seek the truth,' she said. 'So I said three of the members were welcome to serve that the leader suggested, but not the two.'

Pelosi chose Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger to serve on the panel. 

Since Sunday's disclosure of Jordan's January 6 timeline surfaced, multiple people have called for Jordan to face consequences.

'Jim Jordan must testify before the 1/6 committee,' Jeff Sites, a Democratic challenger for Jordan's House seat, wrote on Twitter. 

Sites also claimed Jordan knows 'exactly what Trump said to him' that day and is 'lying because it incriminates Trump.'

Actor George Takei wrote on the site, 'One takeaway from Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz calling and begging Trump to tell the rioters to stand down on Jan 6 is that they apparently believed Trump had full control over Antifa.'

He was referring to a right-wing conspiracy theory that far-left group Antifa staged the riot.

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