January 6 committee cites 5 Republican lawmakers close to Trump, including McCarthy

Washington- The House select committee investigating the January 6 assault on the US Capitol issued subpoenas on Thursday to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other House Republicans, a significant escalation in his efforts to obtain information from GOP lawmakers as part of his investigation.

In addition to McCarthy, the select committee subpoenaed Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Andy Biggs of Arizona to testify. The panel’s lawsuit is likely to spark a legal fight, as others who have been called to testify before lawmakers, such as former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, have went to court to challenge subpoenas issued by House investigators.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, said Republican lawmakers have information relevant to their investigation and the panel was forced to issue the subpoenas after they declined the opportunity to voluntarily participate.

“We urge our colleagues to abide by the law, do their patriotic duty and cooperate with our investigation as hundreds of other witnesses have,” he said in a statement.

The panel asked Republican lawmakers for their voluntary cooperation with its investigation into the Jan. 6 riots, but refused provide information to its members. Brooks, who spoke at the White House rally hours before the attack on Capitol Hill, said earlier this month that while he may have voluntarily testified at some point in the past, just do it if you are subpoenaed and have agreed to fight such a lawsuit.

While the select committee issued subpoenas for McCarthy, Jordan, Brooks, Perry and Biggs, it also asked Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson to participate in voluntary meetings with investigators. It’s unclear if the panel will subpoena Jackson in the future.

The panel told Jordan and Brooks in previous requests for information that they would like to discuss conversations the two had with former President Donald Trump about his efforts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Investigators believe perry played a “significant role” in efforts to install former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general, finding that the Pennsylvania Republican communicated with Meadows about Clark through text messages and Signal, a streaming app. encrypted messaging.

The committee believes Biggs participated in meetings at the White House and remotely regarding planning for Jan. 6, including Vice President Mike Pence’s strategy to reject electoral votes from key battleground states that Trump lost. in the 2020 presidential election. The panel also said it learned Biggs was involved in plans to bring protesters to Washington on Jan. 6, when lawmakers met for a joint session to count state electoral votes and reaffirm victory. of President Biden. Additionally, it has information about Biggs’ alleged efforts to convince state officials that the 2020 election was stolen and to seek their help with Trump’s efforts to overturn the results, and previous White House staff identified Biggs. as potentially involved in an effort to seek a presidential pardon for activities linked to the Trump campaign to reverse the election result.

The panel said McCarthy was in contact with Trump “before, during and after” Jan. 6 and wants information about his conversations with fellow lawmakers in the days after the Jan. 6 attack. In a conference call with Republican leaders, McCarthy said the then-president had acknowledged some blame for the attack. according to recently published audio.

“He told me that he bears some responsibility for what happened. And he needs to acknowledge it,” the top House Republican said.

McCarthy said in another leaked call that he was considering asking Trump to resign.

“The only discussion I would have with him is that I think this will happen, and it would be my recommendation that he resign,” he said. said Rep. Liz Cheney on a January 10, 2021 call, referring to an impeachment resolution crafted by House Democrats. Cheney is one of two Republicans on the January 6 caucus and is serving as vice chair.

The committee has signaled for weeks that it could issue subpoenas if lawmakers did not voluntarily comply with its requests. Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, the other Republican on the panel, told “Face the Nation” earlier this month that the committee “finally [do] anything we can do to get that information” from members.

“We have requested information from various members. As for whether to go ahead with a subpoena, [that] It’s going to be as much a strategic and tactical decision as it is a question of whether we can do that and get the information in time,” Kinzinger said in the May 1 interview.

In the course of its investigation into the January 6 insurrection and the events surrounding it, the committee has issued more than 90 subpoenas to a wide range of former White House aides, Trump allies, former campaign officials, rally organizers protesting the 2020 election results and far-right extremist groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

Several potential witnesses have tried unsuccessfully to quash the subpoenas in federal court. Most recently, a US district judge in Washington refused an attempt by the Republican National Committee to block a select committee subpoena to its email fundraising provider, upon discovering that the committee was seeking information relevant to its investigation.

The House has also voted to celebrate Meadows, and former White House top aides Dan Scavino, Peter Navarro and steve banon in contempt of Congress after they failed to comply with subpoenas. bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury in November for refusing to appear for a statement and produce documents, and has pleaded not guilty.

Meanwhile, some members of the Trump family have spoken with House investigators, including Donald Trump Jr., ivanka trump and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.

Much of the committee’s work so far has taken place behind closed doors, with lawmakers and staff conducting more than 900 interviews and depositions and receiving more than 100,000 documents in the course of its investigation. But the panel review of the January 6 assault will enter its public phase next month, with a series of eight hearings starting June 9.

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