(CNN)House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday issued a veiled threat to companies that cooperate with the House select committee investigating the deadly January 6 riot at the US Capitol, warning that “a Republican majority will not forget.””If these companies comply with the Democrat order to turn over private information, they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States,” the California Republican said in a statement he posted to Twitter. “If companies still choose to violate federal law, a Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law.”McCarthy’s office would not provide CNN with a specific federal statute that a company would be in violation of if it complied with a duly empaneled congressional committee.The select committee took its first step in the investigatory process on Monday, requesting that more than 30 social media and telecommunication companies preserve the phone records of certain lawmakers and members of former President Donald Trump‘s orbit who played some role in the “Stop the Steal” rally that served as the prelude to the Capitol insurrection.
A committee spokesman said later Tuesday that the threat will not impact its work.”The Select Committee is investigating the violent attack on the Capitol and attempt to overturn the results of last year’s election. We’ve asked companies not to destroy records that may help answer questions for the American people,” spokesman Tim Mulvey said in a statement to CNN. “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.”McCarthy also accused the select committee of strong-arming private companies, specifically naming in his statement committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, both California Democrats.It is unclear what means the committee will use to compel the telecommunications companies to cooperate with their request. The committee does have subpoena power, but requesting the information — especially from members of Congress — could lead to a lengthy legal battle.As CNN previously reported, McCarthy’s name was notably not on the initial list of names the committee sent to the companies for records preservation, according to sources.Still, the contents of the congressman’s call with Trump during the height of the riot are expected to be of great interest to the committee, and Thompson has repeatedly not ruled out calling McCarthy to testify in front of the committee if that is where the investigation leads.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Whitney Wild contributed to this report.