GOP Leader Targeted For Testimony By Jan 6 Committee

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The House committee investigating the Capitol riot has requested information from House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — although he has already insisted that he does not intend to comply. McCarthy, though, was in contact with then-President Trump around the time of the attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters last January, and these communications seem poised to allow for critical insight from the GOP leader regarding the then-president’s actions and state of mind. In a conference call with fellow Republican members of Congress on January 11 of last year, McCarthy apparently already admitted that he’d heard Trump acknowledge a level of responsibility for the riot.

McCarthy could also provide information about efforts in Congress to block the certification of Biden’s election victory. As noted by riot investigation committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), investigators “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.” A recent report from The Guardian stated that investigators on the committee were considering the possibility of recommending Trump to the Justice Department for prosecution over the perpetration of a criminal conspiracy, although such a referral emerging is far from a given. The potential criminal conspiracy would have targeted the Congressional proceedings meant to certify the presidential election outcome.

Among other instances, McCarthy spoke with Trump as the violence was unfolding at the Capitol, when it took awhile for Trump to directly address the chaos at all. Eventually, Trump’s comments included a message to the rioters: “We love you; you’ve very special” — which isn’t exactly something that communicates the grave seriousness of the situation. In a letter to McCarthy, Thompson noted that “[it] appears that you had one or more conversations with the President during this period, including a conversation on or about January 11th…. It appears that you may also have discussed with President Trump the potential he would face a censure resolution, impeachment, or removal under the 25th Amendment. It also appears that you may have identified other possible options, including President Trump’s immediate resignation from office.”

McCarthy claimed in his response to the committee’s demands that the “committee is not conducting a legitimate investigation as Speaker Pelosi took the unprecedented action of rejecting the Republican members I named to serve on the committee” — which is not an accurate representation of the facts. Pelosi only rejected part of McCarthy’s selections for the committee, not all of them — it’s McCarthy who then decided to withdraw from the committee process altogether. Read more here.