House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced Tuesday that he will not support the formation of a congressional commission to investigate the insurrection and riot that transpired on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, setting off a wave of speculation regarding what his motives might be for such an action.

According to former GOP Rep. David Jolly of Florida, the reason McCarthy and other Republicans are terrified of such a commission is simple: They’re fearful a full investigation might expose their involvement in the plot and coordination with the rioters.

During an appearance on MSNBC Tuesday evening, Jolly explained his thinking on the matter, telling host Joy Reid:

“Now Kevin does not want it to go forward it’s because we know the focus will be on the culpability of Republican behavior, not just Donald Trump’s behavior but Republican behavior going into Jan. 6th. The luscious irony in all of this is just as Kevin’s handling of the Benghazi commission, some would argue derailed his ascension to the speakership. When he went on Fox News and said this was all about taking down Hillary Clinton, it wasn’t about Benghazi. Just as that derailed his speakership, a Jan. 6th Commission could derail it at the speakership as well. It could focus on what he knows about the events. When Liz Cheney says he should testify, it’s not just because she wants to get to the truth. She’s said that McCarthy won’t be Speaker. Which tells me that Liz Cheney knows that Kevin McCarthy knows something that is so damning it would undo his ascension to the speakership should he go under oath before a Jan. 6th Commission.”

Just last week, McCarthy helped orchestrate the removal of Cheney from her leadership post among House Republicans, and she has also been a strong proponent of a commission to study the events of Jan. 6.

Professor Jason Johnson followed up on Jolly’s remarks, noting:

“This is what makes this so insane, I don’t know why the Democrats are even bothering to try and make it a bipartisan commission at this point. The Republicans know that many of them are potentially complicit in not standing up when this was happening or obfuscating people who might have been involved.”

Johnson then added:

“The Republican Party doesn’t want a real investigation. This is like the Empire saying, ‘OK, you got the Death Star, we don’t have to do the whole investigation into Darth Vader. We don’t have to talk about that’ You can’t go forward. The country can’t go forward unless we have an investigation. Because I promise you, whoever was responsible for this and the people in Congress who were responsible for this, will try again at some point. I think the Democrats just need to go it alone and forget about getting Republicans involved.”

Johnson and Jolly are both on point. Democrats don’t need the votes of Republicans. They can create the commission with the majority they have in the House and Senate. They could also vote to appoint a special counsel to look into the insurrection. If Republicans can play hardball, then it’s time Democrats do the same.

Here’s the video from MSNBC:

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