House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is following in the footsteps of several of his GOP colleagues. On Wednesday, McCarthy informed the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol that he would not be cooperating with the committee.
McCarthy voiced what has become a similar belief about the committee by many Republicans: “As a representative and the leader of the minority party, it is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee’s abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward.”
He also called the committee “illegitimate.”
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Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) sent a letter to McCarthy asking to come before the committee voluntarily. In the letter, Thompson specifically requested any communication from that day between McCarthy and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
Assuming that Trump had a plan for the day, Thompson also stated in the letter:
“We also must learn about how the President’s plans for January 6th came together, and all the other ways he attempted to alter the results of the election. For example, in advance of January 6th, you reportedly explained to Mark Meadows and the former President that objections to the certification of the electoral votes on January 6th ‘was doomed to fail.’”
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Kevin McCarthy is just the latest in a growing line of Republicans who are telling the Jan. 6 committee to take a hike. On Sunday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) also announced that he would not be cooperating with the committee.
In his response to the request, Jordan blasted the committee, saying:
“This request is far outside the bounds of any legitimate inquiry, violates core Constitutional principles, and would serve to further erode legislative norms. Your attempt to pry into the deliberative process informing a Member of about legislative matters before the House is an outrageous abuse.”
Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) has also declined to appear before the committee and has called it “illegitimate.”
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It became clear early on that this committee would not be ‘bipartisan.’ When it was formed back in July 2021, McCarthy had selected five GOP members to sit on the committee, including Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN).
Both Jordan and Banks were rejected by Pelosi for the committee. At the time, the reasons House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave were that their appointments “may impact the integrity of the investigation.”
McCarthy ultimately pulled all five GOP House members he had selected for the committee, leaving only two ‘Never Trump’ Republicans who both voted to impeach him, Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).
Committee Chair Thompson maintains that McCarthy has information pertaining to the events of Jan. 6. However, it has not yet been determined if the committee can subpoena sitting members of Congress.
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