According to a report from The Intercept, the FBI has accessed and secured phone records of members of Congress and others who were in the Capitol building on Jan. 6th as supporters of former Donald Trump stormed and then trashed the halls of Congress.
Speaking with website's Ken Klippenstein and Eric Lichtblau, a former FBI agent stated the agency is "searching cell towers and phones pinging off cell sites in the area to determine visitors to the Capitol," on the day lawmakers fled for their lives.
The report states, "In the hours and days after the Capitol riot, the FBI relied in some cases on emergency orders that do not require court authorization in order to quickly secure actual communications from people who were identified at the crime scene. Investigators have also relied on data 'dumps' from cellphone towers in the area to provide a map of who was there, allowing them to trace call records — but not content — from the phones."
Some members of Congress -- including Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) -- have been accused of giving tours of the Capitol building on the day before Donald Trump addressed a "Stop the Steal" rally that culminated with the assault on Congress as the Senate sought to certify the Electoral College votes making Joe Biden the 46th president of the United States.
While the report does not specify which lawmakers are being scrutinized, it does reveal that "The data is also being used to map links between suspects, which include members of Congress."
"Federal authorities have used the emergency orders in combination with signed court orders under the so-called pen/trap exception to the Stored Communications Act to try to determine who was present at the time that the Capitol was breached, the source said. In some cases, the Justice Department has used these and other 'hybrid' court orders to collect actual content from cellphones, like text messages and other communications, in building cases against the rioters," the Intercept is reporting, adding, "The collection effort has been met with little resistance from telecom providers asked to turn over voluminous data on the activity that day."
A previous report from AZCentral revealed that two Arizona Republicans who were in Washington D.C. on Jan 6th -- Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) and then-Rep. Anthony Kern (R-Glendale) -- previously refused to voluntarily turn over their phone records.
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