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House Jan. 6 Committee subpoenas Kevin McCarthy for his communications with Trump around time of the Capitol attack

Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

  • The House Jan. 6 panel has subpoenaed Kevin McCarthy over his communications with Trump.
  • McCarthy previously refused a voluntary request to testify about what Trump told him as the insurrection was unfolding.
  • The subpoena underlines the panel’s response to Republicans who won’t answer their questions.

The House committee investigating the January 6 riot subpoenaed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday, a sign that the panel will not shy away from securing the testimony of top Republicans.

Lawmakers on the panel want to hear from McCarthy about his communications with President Donald Trump before, during, and after January 6, 2021. In particular, the panel is interested in McCarthy’s reportedly tense phone call with Trump that occurred as rioters were still ransacking the Capitol.

“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,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat who chairs the committee, said in a statement. “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.”

McCarthy previously said that he would not cooperate with the panel’s request, blasting it as a political panel that is only designed to hurt Republicans.

“It is not serving any legislative purpose,” McCarthy said in January. “The committee’s only objective is to attempt to damage its political opponents — acting like the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee one day and the DOJ the next.”

A spokesperson for McCarthy did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

McCarthy’s call with Trump repeatedly came up as the House considered and later impeached the president for inciting the Capitol riot. Trump reportedly cursed at McCarthy and told the GOP leader of the rioters, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, cited what McCarthy told her about his conversation with the president in her statement explaining her vote.

“House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy describes pleading with the President to go on television and call for an end to the mayhem, to no avail,” she said at the time.

McCarthy once supported a 9/11-style commission probe into the insurrection. But he later withdrew his support for such an idea. He has repeatedly blasted the House select committee, which was formed after Senate Republicans blocked the formation of an independent commission.

Rep. Liz Cheney, once the No. 3 House Republican, serves as the vice-chair of the panel. Cheney and McCarthy used to be close allies, but their relationship has rapidly deteriorated in the wake of January 6. McCarthy currently supports a primary challenger to Cheney.

The January 6 panel also issued subpoenas for four other House Republicans, Reps. Scott Perry, Jim Jordan, Mo Brooks, and Andy Biggs. Like McCarthy, the four other lawmakers have all thus far declined to voluntarily cooperate with the panel’s investigation.

All of the subpoenas demand that the Republican lawmakers appear for depositions by the end of the month.

This is a breaking news story. Keep reading Insider for more developments.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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