Capitol Riot Panel Demands Records From 15 Social Media Companies In Wide-Reaching Probe

The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol sent Friday's letters to 15 social media firms asking for documents about any misinformation, extremism, or foreign influence they may have seen on their platforms. Also, what steps they took in combating them. This is the latest indication of the probes wide scope.

WASHINGTON DC DISTRICT of COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES – 2021/01/06 : Pro-Trump supporters and far right... [+] forces flooded Washington DC in protest at Trump's loss in the election. One protester was shot and 13 were arrested as a result of the mass invasion of the U.S. Capitol Building. (Photo by Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/LightRocket through Getty Images) Pacific Press/LightRocket Via Getty Images

The Key Facts

The panel sent letters out to major sites, including Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and right leaning forums like Parler, Gab, and 4chan. They also asked for data about election misinformation, extremism, right-wing conspiracy movements, such as QAnon, foreign interference in the 2020 election, Jan. 6 planning, or any other efforts to overturn it. The letters request information about banned or sanctioned accounts, protocols that were used to stem violence or misinformation and any previous requests made by law enforcement officials or government officials for similar information. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss. The panel's chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), stated that the records will be used for an investigation of the facts, circumstances, and causes of the attack as well as to create corrective laws to prevent future attacks. As part of its review, the panel is gathering troves documents. Eight federal agencies were asked earlier this week to provide records about former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the election. Also, the response of the government to the attack on Jan. 6.

Important Background

In June, the House created the select committee to create a comprehensive investigation account of Jan. 6's attack. This was after Senate Republicans stopped the formation of an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the attack in May. Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, has appointed two anti-Trump Republicans to her committee: Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney (R.Ill.). Alongside seven Democrats, he will be a member of the panel. Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader, pulled five of his picks to the committee following Pelosi's refusal to seat two.

Chief Critic

We have a responsibility as Republicans to ensure that every member of the committee is held accountable and prevent them from holding positions of authority when we win back the majority. Rep. Jim Banks (R.I.): Take them off any committee. In a Fox News interview, he said that he was one of the Republicans who were prevented from being on the panel. Banks tweeted Friday, urging Pelosi to disband the panel so that it can be refocused on the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan by the Biden administration.