December 16, 2021
John T. Stankey
208 S. Akard St.
Dallas, TX 75201
Dear Mr. Stankey,
The American Telephone and Telegraph Company, better known as AT&T, has picked a side in the fight between those who stand for America versus the Socialist Left, which is determined to destroy our freedoms and values. And it has picked the wrong side, the side that created an invalid, hyper-politicized “committee” to harm Republicans while hiding Nancy Pelosi’s grave culpability in the January 6 debacle. In doing so AT&T turned on its own customers and foisted on them the burden to battle against the insatiable effort by radicals in Congress to get their hands on private data that actually requires a court order to obtain.
This is wrong and AT&T must fix its wrong-headed choices.
Nancy Pelosi’s so-called “January 6 Committee” is illegitimate, and its work is invalid. In forming the committee, Pelosi brazenly discarded the rules of the House of Representatives – rules she wrote – that apply to every other Member of Congress. She refused to accept the appointments of the House Republican Leader and substituted her own shills to guarantee the outcome she wants. Yes, Pelosi picked the Republicans on the panel. Who did she sub in to guarantee her desired result? Future former Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, two people who are actively turning their backs on conservative principles. In doing so, she claims the so-called “select committee” is bipartisan, because two of her “Never-Trump” Republicans-in-Name-Only are participating. The House Rules give the Republican leadership the power to appoint Republicans to committees. Pelosi broke this rule, ignored the selections of the Republican Leader, and stacked the deck. This makes a mockery of the Rule of Law. Any work of the committee – including the issuance of subpoenas — is invalid. Turning private information over to this illegitimate committee is akin to turning the information over to the Democrat National Committee.
The limited scope of the committee investigation makes clear that it is little more than the venue for a partisan witch hunt. Pelosi ordered the committee members not to explore why she refused the assistance of the National Guard to provide security at the Capitol. Reports show that the former Capitol Police Chief, along with the White House, urged use of the National Guard in anticipation of a planned large gathering who were going to march near the Capitol. There were more than 10 requests in advance of, and during, the ugly events of January 6. But Nancy Pelosi, who as Speaker of the House has political appointees in place to oversee the Capitol Police, turned down these requests until too much harm had already been caused. Why? Perhaps AT&T should turn over Pelosi’s records and we’d have a better understanding about her irresponsible actions.
The breadth of the subpoenas that have been issued is just as illuminating, and alarming. Pelosi’s’ minions are demanding that AT&T turn over information that most of us would be covered by an expectation of privacy, including the contents of all text messages, other short message service communications, and emails associated with each account. It is one thing to demand location data and call logs from a mobile carrier. No one expects that information to be protected. It is quite another to peer into the substance of private communications without a court order.
This committee is further demonstrating its illegitimacy to make headlines and bankrupt Republicans in its treatment of Mark Meadows, a man known as one of the most decent people in Washington. The panel just voted to hold the president’s former Chief of Staff, and former House colleague, in contempt simply for following the time-honored process surrounding Executive Privilege. Meadows had been cooperating with the committee. Rather than turning over information that may be covered by Executive Privilege (and thus, not his to share), Meadows asked the US District Court to clarify what he is required to disclose to Pelosi’s kangaroo court. Rather than waiting for a decision by an unbiased legal authority, Pelosi is seeking to have him prosecuted. Every single American should be outraged by this obscene abuse of power.
In an awkward attempt to defend AT&T’s actions, its trade association, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), actually indicated what AT&T should have done in response to this unlawful panel’s demands. In a press release, CTIA offered that “wireless carriers are compelled to comply with valid subpoenas and do so every day.” Any litigant can issue a subpoena. But to compel compliance requires a court of competent jurisdiction to issue an order.
Rather than protecting its customers by requiring a valid court order, AT&T flippantly informed its own customers that the company was going to turn over the requested information. If they want to challenge the legitimacy of the subpoenas, customers must do their own legal work at their own expense to protect their own privacy. This is not how a company that values its customers ought to act. Never in our nation’s history has a company collapsed so gracelessly in response to a fake committee’s invalid subpoenas.
We are rarely complimentary of Apple, but in this context, the company serves its customers’ interests by requiring a court order when a questionable subpoena is served. According to the New York Times, Apple challenged 238 demands from the government for its customers’ account data in the first six months of 2020. Why does AT&T not live up to that standard now?
The board members of AT&T may not be aware of the betrayal of its own customers, but they must be aware of the other ways the company has contributed to the hyper-partisanship in America. For example, the company openly voted with its market power when it removed advertising from One America News, a media outlet that President Trump included in White House briefings. It also voted with its shareholder’s profits when it doled out large amounts of cash to the self- proclaimed Marxists who founded Black Lives Matter, Inc., an organization directly responsible for much of the mayhem that destroyed lives and neighborhoods across America last summer.
And here the facts are revealing about the real purpose of the “January 6 Committee.” The summer of 2020 saw an unprecedented assault on America by the Socialist Left: well over 500 riots across the country resulted in dozens of American deaths and over $2 billion in property damage; 2,000 police officers were injured, attacked, shot and stabbed; federal and state court houses and police precincts were burned to the ground. Despite an initial arrest of 14,000 rioters, almost all were immediately released and their respective criminal charges were dropped. Yet Nancy Pelosi refused to investigate this crime wave or condemn the violence and instead pushed for an “investigation” of one of the rare instances where supporters of President Trump were accused of wrongdoing.
AT&T has announced that it will cave to Pelosi’s unlawful committee and its invalid subpoena. This betrays its customers and creates a precedent that must be reversed.
The democratic process is dying in plain sight, and AT&T is abetting its demise. It is time for AT&T to take “Telegraph” out and put “America” back in its name and stand for what is right.
The Conservative Political Action Coalition