Rep. Kevin McCarthy from Bakersfield, the top Republican in the House of Representatives, and four other lawmakers on Thursday received summonses from the House of Representatives committee to investigate the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by Donald Trump supporters.
The January 6 election commission of the House of Representatives issued subpoenas to try to obtain testimony from lawmakers after they refused to cooperate voluntarily with the investigation.
Other Republican lawmakers who received subpoenas were representatives of Jim Jordan, Mo Brooks, Scott Perry and Andy Biggs.
McCarthy, Jordan and Perry told reporters Thursday that they believe the committee’s investigation is illegal, but did not directly answer questions about whether they would comply with the summons.
“This whole thing is a charade,” Perry said of the subpoenas.
Spokesmen for Brooks and Biggs did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In January, McCarthy said in a statement that he would not cooperate with the committee’s investigation.
“As a representative and leader of a minority party, I have not regretted and pleased not to take part in the abuse of power of this elected committee, which is taunting this institution today and will harm it in the future,” McCarthy said in a statement.
On January 6, 2021, Republican Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, encouraged by the then president in a speech near the White House to protest against official confirmation by Congress of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 election.
The committee is trying to establish what Trump was doing when thousands of his supporters attacked police, damaged the Capitol and sent members of Congress and then Vice President Mike Pence to flee to save their lives.
A spokesman for Benny Thompson, a Democrat and chairman of the Electoral Committee, said in a press release that five Republicans who received subpoenas had information about the events that led to the attack.
“Before holding our hearings next month, we wanted to give members the opportunity to voluntarily discuss these issues with the committee,” Thompson said. “Unfortunately, the people who received the summons today refused, and we are forced to take this step to ensure that the committee discloses the facts concerning January 6.”
McCarthy, who has been criticized by fellow conservatives for his caucus, publicly zigzagged about Trump’s guilt, first saying the former president had some responsibility for the violence, but finally visiting Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. and posed to take pictures with him.