The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol on Friday sent letters to 15 social media companies seeking documents on any misinformation, extremism and foreign influence on their platforms and what steps they took to combat them, the latest sign of the probe’s broad scope.
The letters ask the companies for their reviews and data on election misinformation, extremism and right-wing conspiracy movements like QAnon, foreign influence in the 2020 election, and Jan. 6 planning or other efforts to overturn the election.
The letters also request information on banned and sanctioned accounts, protocols used to stem misinformation or violence and previous requests from law enforcement or government officials for similar information.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chair of the panel, said the records will be used to examine the “facts, circumstances and causes” of the attack, as well as create “corrective” laws and regulations to prevent future attacks.
The panel is collecting troves documents as part of its review, asking eight federal agencies earlier this week for records on former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election and the government’s response to the Jan. 6 attack.
The select committee was created by the House in June to craft a comprehensive investigatory account of the Jan. 6 attack after Senate Republicans blocked the formation of an independent, bipartisan commission to study the attack in May. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed two anti-Trump Republicans, Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), to serve alongside the panel’s seven Democrats. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled his five picks for the committee after Pelosi refused to seat two of them.
“When we win back the majority next year, we have a duty as Republicans to hold every member of this committee accountable… by preventing them from being in positions of authority. Take them off any committee,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), one of the Republicans blocked from serving on the panel, said in a Fox News interview on Tuesday. Banks tweeted Friday that Pelosi should “disband” the panel and “refocus” it on the Biden administration’s withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.