Lawmaker Says Apple Execs Risk 'Having Blood on Their Hands'

Rep. David Jolly, of Florida, made the remarks.

ByABC News
February 25, 2016, 4:02 PM

— -- Apple may end up having “blood on their hands” if the company continues to refuse to help the FBI break into a cellphone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, according to a Republican congressman.

FBI Director James Comey spent much of today on Capitol Hill, hearing lawmakers from both sides of the aisle opine on the growing dispute between the FBI and Apple. But the comments by Rep. David Jolly, R-Florida, seemed to stand out in their bluntness.

If Apple's “failure to comply [with a judge’s order] means that there is additional information out there that has already contributed to other incidents or will in the future contribute to other incidents of terrorism or national security, I think Apple leadership risks having blood on their hands,” Jolly told Comey. “And I think [Apple CEO] Tim Cook is going to have a very hard time explaining why he stood in the way of justice on this issue.”

Jolly said shooter Syed Farook gave up his privacy and civil liberties the day he and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, murdered 14 people and injured more than 20 others. They were later killed in a gun battle with police.

“I am sick and tired in this town and across the country of people not siding with law enforcement, and in this case that includes Apple and that includes [CEO] Tim Cook,” Jolly added.

Comey did not respond to Jolly’s comments.

In an exclusive interview with "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir yesterday, Cook said he believed complying with the judge’s order would put the public at risk.

“If a court can ask us to write this piece of software, think about what else they could ask us to write – maybe it's an operating system for surveillance, maybe the ability for the law enforcement to turn on the camera," Cook said. "I don't know where this stops. But I do know that this is not what should be happening in this country."

In a statement to customers last week, Cook said Apple has “no sympathy for terrorists” and wants “justice for all those whose lives were affected” by the San Bernardino attacks. However, developing a way into Farook’s phone is “something we consider too dangerous to create,” Cook said.