Marjorie Taylor Greene threatens phone companies if they hand over 6 January records

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has threatened telecom companies, claiming they would be "shut down" if they handed over Republicans' phone data to the January 6 commission being conducted by the US House.

The commission is investigating the circumstances that led to the Capitol riot, and have request the phone records of several Republican lawmakers, including Representatives Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, Madison Cawthorn, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks, Jody Hice, Scott Perry, Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar.

That list could grow to include more Republican lawmakers.

Republicans have complained that the request constitutes government overreach.

"If these telecommunications companies, if they go along with this, they will be shut down. And that's a promise," Ms Greene told Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

She said the requests were a "witch hunt," a phrase Donald Trump often invoked over investigations into him.

"If members of Congress can have their personal cellphone data exposed ... just to hurt us politically in the next election, then we are going into a dangerous place in this country," she said.

She threatened that Republicans would take the requests "very serious" and would react in kind should they retake the House in 2022.

The request from the House seeks records from 35 communication companies for the purpose of "preserving records."

On Monday, a spokesman for the House select committee said the request was meant to gather facts, "not alleging wrongdoing by any individual."

Mr Brooks complained that the request from the "socialists" and "Pelosi Republicans" was wrong and asked why they did not "subpoena Socialists who support BLM & ANTIFA?"

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy also threatened the companies, suggesting – as Ms Greene did – that a Republican majority House would retaliate against telecom companies, warning they "will not forget."

He said Democratic Representatives Adam Schiff, Bennie Thompson and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were attempting "to strong-arm private companies to turn over individuals' private data," and claimed that compliance would "put every American with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democratic politicians."

The concern may be surprising coming from Mr McCarthy, who voted to renew the Patriot Act – which permitted US intelligence agencies to spy on citizens – numerous times.

The House committee spokesperson responded to the threats, saying the commission would not be deterred by Republican threats.

“The Select Committee is investigating the violent attack on the Capitol and attempt to overturn the results of last year’s election,” the spokesman said. “We’ve asked companies not to destroy records that may help answer questions for the American people. The committee’s efforts won’t be deterred by those who want to whitewash or cover up the events of January 6th, or obstruct our investigation.”

Congressional committees have sought data from private companies, including phone records and emails, in past inquiries.

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