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Kevin McCarthy among GOP lawmakers whose phone records January 6 select committee asks to be preserved

By Ryan Nobles, Annie Grayer, Zachary Cohen and Whitney Wild, CNN

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is among a group of GOP lawmakers whose phone records are of interest to the select committee investigating the deadly January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, CNN has learned.

The committee asked a group of telecommunication companies to preserve phone records belonging to McCarthy, along with several other House Republicans, earlier this week.

On Monday, CNN first reported the existence of an evolving list of lawmakers whose phone records the committee wanted preserved. At the time of CNN’s reporting, McCarthy’s name had not been added to a draft version of the list, but by the time the document was finalized and sent to the telecommunications companies later that same day, it was included.

But since the final list was submitted on Monday afternoon, CNN has received information that McCarthy’s name was, in fact, included along with several other lawmakers and hundreds of other individuals.

A select committee aide made clear Thursday that the names associated with the panel’s requests have not changed since the final list was sent to telecommunication companies earlier this week.

“The lists that accompanied the preservation orders haven’t been changed or supplemented since the select committee sent them Monday,” the aide said.

One day after the committee released the preservation letters sent to the telecommunication companies, which did not include the names associated with records they were requesting, McCarthy issued a statement warning that any telecommunication company to comply with the committee’s request was breaking the law.

McCarthy’s office has not responded to CNN’s request for clarification on what law McCarthy believes the telecommunication companies would be violating.

“It is unfortunate how unserious and political Bennie Thompson has made this inquiry,” Mark Bednar, a spokesman for McCarthy, said in a statement to CNN, referring to the select committee’s chairman, when asked for comment on the minority leader being part of the preservation of records request. “A serious inquiry that was not politically motivated would be looking at why the Capitol was left so unprepared and how to prevent this from happening in the future — and an authoritarian, unconstitutional attempt to rifle through individuals’ call logs will not help answer that question.”

Other rank-and-file Republicans have also escalated their efforts to derail the investigation as it continues to heat up. House Freedom Caucus Chair Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican, plans to send a letter to McCarthy on Thursday calling on him to change the rules and remove GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from the Republican Conference for their roles on the January 6 select committee. And other Republicans have echoed that call.

Cheney, who was elevated to vice chair of the select committee on Thursday indirectly addressed the swarming efforts to derail the committee’s work in a statement accompanying her announcement.

“We will not be deterred by threats or attempted obstruction and we will not rest until our task is complete” Cheney said.

It remains unclear if McCarthy’s response was linked in any way to knowledge he was included in the panel’s request, but the escalating tone of his statement was not lost on members of the committee and those involved in the probe.

“It only makes you wonder more what they are so afraid of,” a source familiar with the investigation told CNN, referring to McCarthy and other GOP members.

McCarthy notably spoke to the former President during the height of the riot, and the contents of that call are expected to be of great interest to the committee as it builds its investigation. Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, has repeatedly not ruled out calling McCarthy to testify in front of the committee if that is where the investigation leads. The other GOP lawmakers that CNN has reported to be on the preservation request list from the Committee are those who played some role in the “Stop the Steal” rally that served as the prelude to the Capitol insurrection.

This story has been updated with comment from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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