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McCarthy, GOP lawmakers escalate standoff with Jan. 6 panel

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McCarthy, GOP lawmakers escalate standoff with Jan. 6 panel

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks throughout his information convention on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is making clear that he’ll┬ádefy a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol assault, escalating a standoff with the panel over his and different GOP lawmakers’ testimony.

“For House Republican leaders to agree to participate in this political stunt would change the House forever,” the California lawmaker wrote Thursday in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal with GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.

The House panel believes testimony from the Republican lawmakers are essential to their investigation as every of the lads was in touch with then-President Donald Trump and his allies within the weeks and days main as much as the Capitol rebel. Some participated in conferences and urged the White House to try to overturn the 2020 presidential outcomes.

McCarthy has acknowledged he spoke with Trump on Jan. 6 as Trump’s supporters had been beating police outdoors the Capitol and forcing their approach into the constructing. But he has not shared many particulars. The committee requested details about his conversations with Trump “before, during and after” the riot.

His defiance presents a brand new problem for the committee after lawmakers determined to take the extraordinary and politically dangerous step of subpoenaing their very own colleagues. The committee now should determine whether or not to implement the subpoenas even because it seems to wrap up the investigation and put together for a sequence of public hearings in early June. It may refer the lawmakers to the House ethics committee or take steps to carry them in contempt.

The subpoenas had been issued to McCarthy, R-Calif., Jordan, and Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama in mid-May. The panel has already interviewed greater than 1,000 witnesses and picked up greater than 100,000 paperwork because it investigates the worst assault on the Capitol in two centuries.

“I have no relevant information that would advance any legitimate legislative purpose,” Jordan stated in a letter detailing his causes for not cooperating. The others indicated after the subpoenas had been issued that they too wouldn’t cooperate. A request for remark from Biggs, Brooks and Perry was not instantly returned.

The panel had beforehand requested for voluntary cooperation from the 5 lawmakers, together with a handful of different GOP members, however all refused to talk with the panel, which debated for months whether or not to situation the subpoenas.

McCarthy and the others had been summoned to testify in entrance of investigators this week and subsequent week. McCarthy, who aspires to be House speaker if Republicans take over the bulk subsequent 12 months, indicated that the committee’s resolution can have a long-lasting influence.

“Every representative in the minority would be subject to compelled interrogations by the majority, under oath, without any foundation of fairness, and at the expense of taxpayers,” he wrote within the op-ed.

In a separate transfer, McCarthy and the No. 2 House Republican, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, filed a courtroom temporary in assist of Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon, who’s dealing with felony contempt expenses for defying a subpoena from the committee. In the temporary, attorneys for the 2 write that the committee doesn’t have the authority to situation subpoenas, an argument that has been dismissed in different courtroom proceedings.

The attorneys additionally wrote that McCarthy and Scalise filed the temporary “out of concern for the potential damage to House institutional,” guidelines and order.

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