House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) listens to fellow Republican House members speak about US President Joe Biden’s first year in office on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2022.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers allied with former President Donald Trump were subpoenaed by the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the panel said Thursday.
The move marked the first time that the bipartisan investigation has issued subpoenas to sitting members of Congress. The dramatic step came less than a month before that House committee planned to kick off a series of public hearings.
Along with McCarthy, the other Republican House members whose testimony is being sought under subpoena are Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama and Pennsylvania’s Scott Perry.
All five Republicans had previously refused the panel’s requests to voluntarily cooperate with the investigation.
“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,” said the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss, in a press release.
“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 said.
The bipartisan select committee is investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, when the violent mob of Trump’s supporters broke through police lines and stormed into the Capitol building. The riot forced lawmakers to flee their chambers and temporarily stopped Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over Trump.
McCarthy in January rejected the committee’s request to provide information related to the probe, saying he had “nothing else to add.” The House minority leader, who hopes to become speaker of the House after the midterm elections, initially said Trump bears responsibility for the riot, but has since summarized his vocal support for Trump.
Audio tapes, which were recorded shortly after the Capitol riot and leaked last month, showed McCarthy telling Republicans that he would ask Trump to resign as president and worry about incendiary comments made by his GOP colleagues.
The committee’s press release said that McCarthy “was in communication with President Trump before, during, and after the attack on January 6th.”
McCarthy was also speaking with White House staff during the attack, and discussed the Capitol with them before and after the riot, the panel said.
The press release added that McCarthy “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.”
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.