Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Kevin McCarthy, 4 other GOP House members allied with Trump

The House Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US capital has put minority leader Kevin McCarthy and four other prominent Conservatives on notice after refusing to voluntarily comply with their request for information.

In a far-from-unprecedented move to sue sitting congressmen, the committee, which is expected to begin public hearings next month, is trying to force testimonies from McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and GOP representatives Scott Perry from Pennsylvania, Jim Jordan from Ohio, Andy Biggs from Arizona and Mo Brooks from Alabama. Some of former President Trump’s biggest supporters in Congress, they had all been asked in letters to speak to the committee and refused.

“Unfortunately, you declined voluntary cooperation and we have no choice but to issue this lawsuit to you,” the legislators were informed in letters informing them of the moods.

The committee has been discussing privately for months about suing chamber colleagues who refuse to cooperate, questioning whether to create such a precedent – especially given the time constraints, the potential for a lengthy legal battle and the high chance Republicans can regain control of the House after the midterm elections.

Some of the legislators in question were involved in meetings and planning sessions around Trump’s attempts to overthrow the 2020 election results.

“These members include those who attended White House meetings, those who had direct talks with President Trump before and during the attack on the Capitol, and those who were involved in the planning and coordination of certain activities on and before January 6th,” it said. the one in the press release announcing the lawsuits.

The hearings are scheduled to begin on June 9 and are expected to last for several weeks. The committee has conducted more than 1,000 witness hearings.

“Before holding our hearings next month, we wanted to give members the opportunity to voluntarily discuss these issues with the committee,” said panel chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) in a statement. “Unfortunately, the people who receive lawsuits today have refused and we have to take this step to ensure that the committee reveals the facts on January 6. We urge our colleagues to follow the law, do their patriotic duty and cooperate with our inquiry as hundreds other witnesses have done. “

The panel wants to talk to McCarthy about his communication with Trump before, during and after the attack, according to its letter to the minority leader.

McCarthy told reporters on Thursday that he had not seen the atmosphere. He did not answer questions about his intention to follow, but said: “My view of the committee has not changed. They are not conducting a legitimate investigation. It seems that they only want to go after their political opponents. “

Several people have fought in court to block the committee’s lawsuits for provisions or documents, arguing that the panel was not properly constituted and is not valid because its two Republican members were not named by McCarthy.

Earlier this month, a federal judge issued the first verdict in one of these cases, finding that the committee’s creation and composition are valid and that it has a legitimate legislative purpose. The verdict has been appealed.

The the committee’s letter to Perry said his testimony was needed because he “was directly involved in efforts to corrupt the Justice Department and install Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general.”

A spokesman for Perry, leader of the Conservative House Freedom Caucus, did not want to say whether the Republican in Pennsylvania would follow suit.

In a statement, Perry said: “The fact that this illegal body leaked its latest charade to the media before contacting targeted members is again positive evidence that this political witch hunt is about fabricating headlines and distracting Americans from their abysmal results of driving into America. in the United States. land. “

The committee wants to talk to Jordan about his communication with Trump on January 6 and his participation in meetings and discussions in late 2020 and early 2021 about strategies to overthrow the election, according to its letter to the Ohio Republican.

Jordan told reporters that he found out about the mood from the media and that he did not want to say if he intended to follow.

McCarthy had nominated Jordan as one of the Republicans to sit on the committee, but withdrew all his choices and refused to name others when Parliament Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) rejected Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, another Republican selected. by McCarthy.

Committee letter to Biggs says he “attended meetings to plan various aspects of January 6 and was involved in plans to bring protesters to Washington to list Electoral College … [and] was involved in trying to convince government officials that the 2020 election was stolen. “

IN and tweetThe Arizona Republican called the atmosphere “pure political theater” and a distraction from the country’s problems.

Brooks has been put off because he spoke at the Trump demonstration before the attack on the Capitol, and encouraged those present to “start taking names down and kicking ass.”

The committee’s letter to the Republican Alabama also says so want to ask him about conversations he has publicly revealed in which Trump urged him to work to “cancel the 2020 election.”

Brooks said last week that he intended to fight a lawsuit if one was issued.

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