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Probe of Jan. 6 attack reportedly eyes lawmakers' phone records

The committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack may soon acquire the phone records of sitting members of Congress. That's no small thing.


The House's special select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack doesn't make front-page news every day, but behind the scenes, there can be no doubt that the investigation is advancing in interesting ways.

It was earlier this month, for example, when the committee hired former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), who served as a U.S. intelligence officer before his congressional tenure, and who'll advise investigators as the probe continues to unfold. He'll join current Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) as the Republicans working on the committee, bolstering the panel's bipartisan credibility.

Yesterday, CNN ran this report, raising a few eyebrows about the committee's upcoming moves.

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. Preserving communications records is the first step in an investigatory process that could eventually lead to witness testimony. The notices are set to go out as soon as this week and provide the first window into the kinds of information the committee plans to pursue.

As Rachel noted at the top of the show last night, CNN's account has not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, though if the reporting is correct, it raises dramatic possibilities.

After all, the select committee's investigation is not focused exclusively on what happened during the insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol. The panel is also exploring the events that precipitated the pro-Trump riot, and those who may bear responsibility for the violence.

It's against this backdrop that CNN is reporting that the committee may soon acquire the phone records of sitting members of Congress.

We don't yet have a sense of which specific lawmakers may be included, though we do know that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) both spoke to Donald Trump over the phone the day of the attack. In theory, the details surrounding those calls might be of interest to congressional investigators.

But as Rachel also noted on the show last night, there are related questions surrounding members such as Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), both of whom have been accused of being involved in meetings and discussions with people who have claimed credit for instigating the events of January 6th.

I'm also reminded of claims from some Democratic members in the immediate aftermath of the attack. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) said in January, for example, that she saw a fellow member of Congress giving a "reconnaissance" tour of the U.S. Capitol the day before the riot. Soon after, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) told MSNBC he'd spoken to a colleague -- not Sherrill -- who described a member "showing people around" ahead of the attack.

Presumably, the select committee would take an interest in the phone records of these unnamed representatives, too. Watch this space.