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Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) condemned House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) threats to tech companies that comply with records requests from the committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Driving the news: McCarthy warned telecom companies that “a Republican majority will not forget" if they comply, after the committee asked them to turn over the phone records of several hundred people, including members of Congress.

What they're saying: Asked if those comments were obstruction of the investigation, Kinzinger said, "obstruct, I don't know, but it's really bad politics, I think, to say the least.

  • "Look, we as a committee, we have a right and we have the responsibility, and frankly, we have the legal authority to go through the process of requesting these kinds of things," he added.
  • "And I think to turn around and make ominous talk to these telecom companies that, you know, when we take over it's going to be different or we'll have payback, that's not frankly the Republican Party I remember and the Republican Party I have joined.
  • "If you have a problem with what the committee's doing, there is a process for your lawyers and your people to push back against it. But it's not to go on TV and tell, you know, these companies that they're going to regret it."

Go deeper

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.

Judge to hear Nov. 4 oral arguments for Trump's executive privilege claim

Former President Trump arrives at Trump Tower in Manhattan on Oct. 17, 2021 in New York City. Photo: James Devaney via Getty Images

A Nov. 4 hearing has been set for former President Trump's claim of executive privilege in regard to the House Jan. 6 select committee's investigation, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team has moved to block some of the committee's requests for records by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to sidestep congressional scrutiny.

The defy-default

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Political figures are exploiting the slowness of the U.S. justice system, Donald Trump's attacks on its integrity and divisions in society to defy the law.

Why it matters: As polarization intensifies, it's placing tribalism above a shared national code of conduct. Increasingly, accountability rests not on the ballot box but with the nine-member, lifetime-appointed and currently conservative-majority Supreme Court.