McCarthy, GOP leader, says he won’t cooperate with 1/6 panel

WASHINGTON (AP), -- A House panel investigating the U.S. Capitol Insurrection demanded records and an interview from Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader. The House panel continues to seek firsthand details from Congress members on former President Donald Trump’s actions on the day that hundreds of his supporters beat police officers, stormed the building, and disrupted the certification of 2020 elections.

McCarthy, GOP leader, says he won’t cooperate with 1/6 panel

McCarthy made a statement Wednesday stating that he would not cooperate. McCarthy stated Wednesday that the investigation was invalid and accused the panel "abuse" of power.

Bennie Thompson (Democratic chairman of the panel), requested that McCarthy (R-Calif.) provide information to the nine members regarding his conversations "before, during, and after" the riot. This request also requests information on McCarthy's conversations with Mark Meadows, former Chief of Staff to the White House, in the days leading up to the attack.

Thompson wrote that he needed to know more about the President's plans and other attempts to change the results of the election. "For instance, you told Mark Meadows and the ex-President, before January 6th, that any objections to the certification for the electoral votes on January 6th were 'destined to fail.'

It is not clear if the panel will be allowed to obtain testimony from McCarthy or other Trump congressional allies without his cooperation. Although the committee considered subpoenaing other lawmakers, this would be an unusual move that could face legal and political problems.

Lawmakers want to get a glimpse into Trump's mental state from an ally who has admitted having had multiple interactions with him. McCarthy is also wanted by the committee to answer questions about his communications with Trump and White House staff during the week following the violence. This includes a heated conversation with Trump.

It was aware of the unusual and sensitive nature of McCarthy's request, so it suggested a meeting on Feb. 3, or 4. Thompson wrote that the Select Committee had a great respect for the privacy rights of Congress. "But, at the same time we have a solemn obligation to fully investigate the facts and circumstances of these incidents.

Since Trump's second impeachment trial, Democrats have been looking for more information on McCarthy's communications. Democrats stated that they would call Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) as a witness at one point during the trial because she had described a pivotal conversation between the two men following hearing McCarthy's account.

Herrera Beutler stated that McCarthy had told her to "call off" the riot and that he had also asked Trump for public notice. He said that the violent mob consisted of Trump supporters, and not far-left antifa activists.

In the statement, she stated that McCarthy said to her, "That's when the president said, "Well, Kevin. I guess these people care more about the election than you."

The Democrats then read Herrera Beutler's statement into the record. The Senate exonerated Trump, who had just resigned from office.

McCarthy initially criticised Trump's actions following the 2020 election. He said he "bears liability" for Jan. 6 attacks, which remain the worst domestic attack on the building in its historical history.

McCarthy declared the attack as "the saddest day" in Congress. He was joined by 138 House Republicans to vote against election results.

McCarthy is also asked to meet its vice-chair Rep. Liz Cheney. Cheney was the one McCarthy resigned from as his No. As her public criticisms of Trump's 2020 election loss were heard throughout the Republican Party, she was elected to the No. 3 House leadership position.

Cheney had been advised by the GOP leader to keep her on message. But as Cheney continued to warn the party against Trump's lies, McCarthy groomed an acolyte of Trump, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), to replace her.

McCarthy is the third member to whom the committee has reached out for information. The panel also reached out to Scott Perry and Jim Jordan, GOP Reps. but they declined to meet with legislators or provide documents.

Seven Democrats and two Republicans made up the panel. They interviewed nearly 350 people and issued public subpoenas for around 50 organizations.

According to an anonymous source familiar with the interview, Kayleigh McEnany, the former White House Press Secretary, spoke to the panel virtually on Wednesday. McEnany was subpoenaed by the committee in November.

The committee claims that the remarkable trove of material it has gathered -- 35,000 pages, including emails and phone records of Trump associates -- is helping to flesh out the critical details of the Capitol attack, which was broadcast live on television.

In an interview with The Associated Press last month, Thompson stated that 90% of witnesses who were subpoenaed for testimony by the committee had cooperated despite Trump's defiance. Because they share a common purpose, lawmakers claimed they were able to gather information from other sources. This is a rare feature in a congressional investigation.

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