We called this a month ago. Before we’re accused of being too arrogant about it, it wasn’t that hard to see coming. Once news broke that Trump personally told Jeffery Rosen to put out a letter finding fraud in the 2020 election, “and leave the rest to me and Congress,” we said that the next step had to be subpoenaing both White House calls sheets and phone records from certain members of congress, those most closely associated with Trump and the big lie. Trump himself implicated them. Now, Pelosi’s committee wants those very records.
According to CNN:
The House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot is poised to send notices to various telecommunications companies requesting that they preserve the phone records of several people, including members of Congress, multiple sources tell CNN.
Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, who serves as chairman of the Select Committee, has said that he hopes to issue subpoenas by the end of August. Thompson also has signed off on a broader investigative strategy that will serve as a guide for the panel’s work going forward, according to a source familiar with the planning document.
And good for Thompson for doing the broader search. Given Reuters (somewhat questionable) report earlier this week that the FBI finds “scant evidence” of centralized planning, perhaps it must be left to Congress to examine the facts right in front of their faces. We imagine that there will be several dozen members of Congress made uncomfortable by this announcement; Jordan, Nunes, Boebert, Majorie Taylor-Greene, McCarthy, Mo Brooks, and then there are the senate members, which might be more problematic. We don’t know the rules regarding one house sending subpoenas to another house, they can be awful territorial, but Hawley, Cruz, and definitely Ron Johnson, Tommy Tuberville, and few others should at least receive the subpoenas. How they react is more open to question.
While it remains unclear which members’ records the committee is interested in, several Republican lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, have acknowledged speaking to then-President Donald Trump by phone on January 6. In an interview with CNN on Monday, Thompson confirmed the committee was poised to send letters to telecom companies but also indicated they would be sent to social media companies, though he declined to name which ones.
One might be tempted to say; “Just get the White House call sheets,” and that must be done, too – but that subpoena is far more susceptible to a claim of executive privilege, though a weak claim. The Trump White House would certainly fight such a subpoena, and ideally, a court would hear the matter on an expedited basis. But members of Congress, it would seem, have already consented to subpoenas simply by being members of Congress. We would cast a wide net based on who was doing what in the week before January 6th and subpoena all of them. Those that yell the loudest… Well, there’s likely a reason.
Get the records. To Merrick Garland; Are you watching? This is what a real investigation looks like! We are losing all faith in the DOJ, this might be our only shot at getting to the truth and Cong. Thompson seems to recognize it as such, too.