Rep. Jim Banks fights Jan. 6 committee on seeking records of lawmakers' communications

Banks said that seeking the call logs of Congress members "would depart from more than 230 years of Congressional oversight."
Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., a Navy Reserve officer who served in Afghanistan, speaks during a news conference to discuss the U.S. military withdrawal from the country, with members fo the House Republican Conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, August 24, 2021.
Rep. Jim Banks
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Representative Jim Banks (R-Ind.) is fighting the Jan. 6 Select Committee's effort to obtain communications records of Congress members.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said this week that he plans to ask for records of several hundred people, lawmakers included, from telecommunications companies, The Hill reported.

"Rifling through the call logs of your colleagues would depart from more than 230 years of Congressional oversight," Banks wrote in a letter to Thompson that he also sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the general counsels of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, Facebook, and Twitter.

"This type of authoritarian undertaking has no place in the House of Representatives and the information you seek has no conceivable legislative purpose. It is a desperate partisan act that would only further reveal the political nature of the Select Committee."

Banks had been chosen by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to be on the Select Committee that is investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would not allow them on the committee.

On Monday, Thompson didn't give specifics regarding whose records the committee was planning on requesting, according to The Hill.

"We have quite an exhaustive list of people. I won't tell you who they are, but it's several hundred people that make up the list of people we are planning to contact," he said in response to a question regarding whether former President Trump's family members were included on the list.

This week, the committee sent several requests, one being a letter to the National Archives seeking communications between the Trump administration and lawmakers and their staff on Jan. 6, The Hill reported.