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House lawmakers investigating January 6 say they need ‘much more information’ from social media companies

By Ryan Nobles, Zachary Cohen and Annie Grayer, CNN

The House committee investigating the deadly riot at the US Capitol on January 6 issued a not-so-subtle threat Friday to social media companies, saying the panel still needs “much more information” and would use any available means to compel them to cooperate.

“The majority of the social media companies are cooperating with the probe,” the House select committee said in a statement. “However, we need to receive much more information and the Select Committee will use whatever tools are at our disposal to get the records we’re seeking.”

The committee could use its subpoena power to seek the records but so far hasn’t used that tactic. The committee is referring to the 15 social media companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube, that have been asked to turn over a range of records related to company policies dealing with extremism, misinformation and foreign influence.

The committee did not specify which companies haven’t provided information it needs.

These document requests are different than the preservation requests that the committee sent to 35 social media and telecommunication companies to preserve phone records, among other types of records, in the event the committee needs them.

The committee also said that government agencies are cooperating with records requests and that they are working with the National Archives to obtain documents from the Trump White House, noting the archives must go through procedural hoops before handing the information over.

“The Select Committee is also aware that the National Archives has undertaken the process required by law for identifying records and notifying relevant parties,” the statement read.

It is likely that many of the requests for documents from the Trump White House will turn into a fight over executive privilege. That fight could come not just from former President Donald Trump himself, but from a Biden White House concerned about the precedent that could be set over Congressional access to material from the Executive Branch.

In general, the committee reported that it has received “thousands of pages of records” and it is beginning the work of reviewing those documents.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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