McCarthy has been vocal in his opposition to the move, threatening that “a Republican majority will not forget” which telecom companies comply with the committee’s request. The panel has also asked for McCarthy’s phone records to be preserved as part of the investigation.
Kinzinger said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the committee has “the legal authority to go through the process of requesting these kinds of things. Right now, all we’ve said is we want these records preserved.”
“To turn around then,” he said, “and make ominous talk to these telecom companies that, when we take over it’s going to be different or we’ll have payback, that’s not frankly the Republican Party I remember and the Republican Party I ever joined.”
Kinzinger said McCarthy’s comment was “bad politics.”
“Is it obstruction? I don’t know what is considered obstruction of a congressional investigation, but I would certainly recommend he never go there again,” he added.
He said that if lawmakers take issue with “what the committee’s doing, there is a process for your lawyers and your people to push back against it. But it’s not to go on TV and tell these companies that they’re going to regret it. … That, to me, is a pretty scary place to go in this world.”