United States

Congressional panel tells telecom firms to preserve Jan. 6 records

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A mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a door they broke open as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

WASHINGTON, Aug 30 (Reuters) - The congressional committee probing the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Monday told 35 telephone, email and social media companies to preserve records which could be relevant to its investigation, the panel announced.

Telephone companies receiving requests from the committee included AT&T Inc (T.N), T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), as well as tech giants Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O).

Messages also went out to some social media companies that were the subject of requests last week, including Facebook Inc (FB.O), Reddit, TikTok, Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and YouTube.

In a statement revealing the data preservation requests, a spokesperson for the House of Representatives' Jan. 6 investigation committee, led by Democrat Bennie Thompson, said it had "sent letters to 35 private-sector entities, including telecommunications, email, and social media companies, instructing them to preserve records" which could be "relevant" to the committee's inquiry.

"The Select Committee is at this point gathering facts, not alleging wrongdoing by any individual," the statement added.

This marked the House committee's latest round of requests after last week ordering federal agencies and social media companies to hand over records related to the violence and the events leading up to it.

A source on Monday confirmed the committee would request preservation of phone records of former President Donald Trump, his daughter Ivanka, and his sons Eric and Donald Jr.

Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as Congress was meeting to certify Biden's victory. Nearly 600 people have been arrested in connection with the attack.

House Democrats formed the committee, despite objections from Trump's fellow Republicans in the House, to investigate the worst violence at the Capitol since the British invasion during the War of 1812.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington Editing by Howard Goller and Matthew Lewis

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