House Republican chief Kevin McCarthy and 4 different GOP lawmakers allied with former President Donald Trump had been subpoenaed by the choose committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the panel mentioned Thursday.
The transfer marked the primary time the bipartisan investigation has issued subpoenas to sitting members of Congress. The dramatic step got here lower than a month earlier than the committee deliberate to kick off a collection of public hearings.
Along with McCarthy, the opposite Republican House members whose testimony is being sought underneath subpoena are Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama and Pennsylvania’s Scott Perry.
All 5 Republicans had beforehand refused the panel’s requests to voluntarily cooperate with the investigation. In Thursday’s letters, the committee tells every of the lawmakers: “You declined voluntary cooperation, and we are left with no choice but to issue you a subpoena.”
“The Select Committee has learned that several of our colleagues have information relevant to our investigation into the attack on January 6th and the events leading up to it,” mentioned the committee’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss, in a press launch.
“Before we hold our hearings next month, we wished to provide members the opportunity to discuss these matters with the committee voluntarily. Regrettably, the individuals receiving subpoenas today have refused and we’re forced to take this step to help ensure the committee uncovers facts concerning January 6th,” Thompson mentioned.
The committee is investigating the occasions of Jan. 6, 2021, when a violent mob of Trump supporters broke by way of police traces and stormed into the Capitol constructing. The riot compelled lawmakers to flee their chambers and quickly stopped Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over Trump.
McCarthy in January rejected the committee’s request to offer data associated to the probe, saying he had “nothing else to add.” The House minority chief, who hopes to change into legislative physique’s speaker after the midterm elections, initially mentioned Trump bears accountability for the riot, however has since resumed his vocal assist for the previous president.
Days after the Capitol riot, McCarthy was recorded telling Republicans that he would ask Trump to resign as president and privately nervous that incendiary feedback made by his GOP colleagues might incite extra violence, in accordance with audio tapes leaked final month.
Spokespeople for all 5 lawmakers didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark from NBC News.
McCarthy “was in communication with President Trump before, during, and after the attack on January 6th,” in accordance with the committee. He was additionally in contact with White House employees in the course of the assault, and mentioned the Capitol with them earlier than and after the riot, the panel mentioned.
McCarthy additionally “claimed to have had a discussion with the President in the immediate aftermath of the attack during which President Trump admitted some culpability for the attack,” the panel mentioned.
The committee mentioned Perry “was directly involved with efforts to corrupt the Department of Justice and install Jeffrey Clark,” a DOJ official on the time, as appearing lawyer common in January 2021. Clark has been accused of making an attempt to contain the DOJ in Trump’s efforts to problem the election outcomes.
Perry additionally “had various communications with the White House about a number of matters relevant to the Select Committee’s investigation, including allegations that Dominion voting machines had been corrupted,” in accordance with the panel’s press launch.
The committee additionally famous that Jordan had been in communication with Trump on Jan. 6, and had participated in conferences about “strategies for overturning the 2020 election” within the weeks previous the riot.
Less than two weeks earlier than issuing the newest subpoenas, the committee despatched letters to Brooks, Biggs and GOP Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas, asking for his or her voluntarily cooperation. The investigators mentioned they needed to ask Biggs about his involvement in planning the occasions that led to the riot, and that they needed to debate Brooks’ declare that “Trump asked me to rescind the 2020 elections.”
All three refused. Brooks vowed to battle a subpoena if it got here.