McCarthy and GOP lawmakers escalate standoff to Jan. 6 panel

Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has made it clear that he will likely resist a subpoena by the House committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack.

McCarthy and GOP lawmakers escalate standoff to Jan. 6 panel

Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has made it clear that he will likely resist a subpoena by the House committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack. This escalated a standoff between the panel and McCarthy over his testimony.

McCarthy's attorney wrote Friday an 11-page letter to Congress. He argued that the House Rules do not allow the select committee to subpoena lawmakers and asked for answers to a number of questions.

Attorney Elliot Berke asked for a list of topics that the Select Committee would be interested in discussing with the Leader and the legal and constitutional reasons behind the request.

Berke wrote that Leader McCarthy has the right to claim any other privilege or objection to the Select Committee subpoena.

House panel members believe testimony from Republican lawmakers is vital to their investigation, as each man was in touch with Donald Trump and his aides in the weeks and days preceding the Capitol insurrection. They urged the White House not to reverse the 2020 presidential election results and participated in meetings.

McCarthy acknowledged that he spoke to Trump Jan. 6, when Trump supporters beat police outside the Capitol, forcing their way in. He hasn't shared much information. The committee wanted information on Trump's conversations "before, during, and after" the riot.

After lawmakers took the unusual and risky step to subpoena their colleagues, his apparent disobedience presents a new challenge to the committee.

In an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, the California lawmaker said Thursday that "for House Republican leaders to consent to participate in this politically stunt would change the House forever." He was collaborating with Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Now, the committee must decide whether to make the subpoenas enforceable. However, it is looking to close the investigation and prepare to hold a series of public hearings in June. The committee could refer the lawmakers directly to the House ethics panel or hold them in contempt.

In mid-May, McCarthy, Jordan and Reps. Scott Perry (Pennsylvania), Andy Biggs (Arizona) and Mo Brooks (Alabama) were served with subpoenas. As it investigates the worst attack against the Capitol in 200 years, the panel has already interviewed over 1,000 witnesses and gathered more than 100,000 documents.

Jordan stated in a letter that he did not cooperate because he had no information relevant to any lawful purpose. After the subpoenas had been issued, other people indicated that they would not cooperate.

Perry's lawyer wrote to the committee earlier this week, stating that he couldn't "in good conscience comply with" the subpoena as he doesn’t believe it is valid under House Rules.

Brooks and Biggs did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The panel had previously requested voluntary cooperation from five GOP lawmakers and a few other members. However, all of them refused to talk with the panel. It debated for months about whether to issue subpoenas.

McCarthy and GOP lawmakers escalate standoff to Jan. 6 panel

By FARNOUSH ALIRI and MARY CLARE JAALONICK

2 hours ago

Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, is seen walking to the chamber from his California office, the day after House investigators issued an order to McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers to conduct an investigation into the Jan. 6 Insurrection at Washington's Capitol. This was Friday, May 13, 2022. The House Select Committee for the January 6 Attack is investigating McCarthy's conversations and meetings with Donald Trump on the day of the attack. Also, the four other members had meetings with the White House while Trump and his aides plotted to overturn his defeat. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, is seen walking to the chamber from his California office, the day after House investigators issued an order to McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers to conduct an investigation into the Jan. 6 Insurrection at Washington's Capitol. This was Friday, May 13, 2022. The House Select Committee for the January 6 Attack is investigating McCarthy's conversations and meetings with Donald Trump on the day of the attack. Also, the meetings McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers had with the White House during Trump's plot to reverse his defeat. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP), Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has made it clear that he will likely resist a subpoena by the House committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack. This escalated a standoff between McCarthy and the panel over McCarthy's testimony.

McCarthy's attorney wrote Friday an 11-page letter to Congress. He argued that the House Rules do not allow the select committee to subpoena lawmakers and asked for answers to a number of questions.

Attorney Elliot Berke asked for a list of topics that the Select Committee would be interested in discussing with the Leader and the legal and constitutional reasons behind the request.

Berke wrote that Leader McCarthy has the right to claim any other privilege or objection to the Select Committee subpoena.

House panel members believe testimony from Republican lawmakers is vital to their investigation, as each man was in touch with Donald Trump and his aides in the weeks and days preceding the Capitol insurrection. They urged the White House not to reverse the 2020 presidential election results and participated in meetings.

McCarthy acknowledged that he spoke to Trump Jan. 6, when Trump supporters beat police outside the Capitol, forcing their way in. He hasn't shared much information. The committee wanted information on Trump's conversations "before, during, and after" the riot.

After lawmakers took the unusual and risky step to subpoena their colleagues, his apparent disobedience presents a new challenge to the committee.

In an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, the California lawmaker said Thursday that "for House Republican leaders to consent to participate in this politically stunt would change the House forever." He was collaborating with Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Now, the committee must decide whether to make the subpoenas enforceable. However, it is looking to close the investigation and prepare to hold a series of public hearings in June. The committee could refer the lawmakers directly to the House ethics panel or hold them in contempt.

In mid-May, McCarthy, Jordan and Reps. Scott Perry (Pennsylvania), Andy Biggs (Arizona) and Mo Brooks (Alabama) were served with subpoenas. As it investigates the worst attack against the Capitol in 200 years, the panel has already interviewed over 1,000 witnesses and gathered more than 100,000 documents.

Jordan stated in a letter that he did not cooperate because he had no information relevant to any lawful purpose. After the subpoenas had been issued, other people indicated that they would not cooperate.

Perry's lawyer wrote to the committee earlier this week, stating that he couldn't "in good conscience comply with" the subpoena as he doesn’t believe it is valid under House Rules.

Brooks and Biggs did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The panel had previously requested voluntary cooperation from five GOP lawmakers and a few other members. However, all of them refused to talk with the panel. It debated for months about whether to issue subpoenas.

McCarthy and the other witnesses were summoned by investigators to appear before them this week and next. McCarthy indicated that the committee's decision would have a lasting effect on McCarthy, who hopes to become House speaker if Republicans win the majority of the House next year.

He wrote that "every representative of the minority would be subjected to compelled interrogations under oath by the majority, without any foundation for fairness and at taxpayers' expense."

McCarthy and the No. In a separate move, McCarthy and the No. 2 House Republican, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise filed a court brief to support Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon who is currently facing criminal contempt charges after he defied a subpoena issued by the committee. The brief states that lawyers for both sides claim that the committee doesn't have the authority issue subpoenas. This argument has been rejected in other court proceedings.

McCarthy and Scalise also stated that they filed the brief out of concern for possible damage to House institutional rules and order.

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