House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has something to hide, which is why he refused to cooperate with the House January 6th Committee in a statement on Wednesday.
The committee has begun requesting testimony from Republican lawmakers, who have been found to have been more involved with the Capitol insurrection than previously known. In fact, it’s possible that the committee is considering charges against them and Donald Trump for trying to overthrow democracy.
One of these lawmakers is undoubtedly McCarthy, who spoke to Trump on the phone as the insurrectionists violently stormed the Capitol.
That conversation is a key piece of evidence, which is why the committee wants McCarthy to testify. But McCarthy released a lie-filled statement refusing to cooperate.
“This committee is not conducting a legitimate investigation as Speaker Pelosi took the unprecedented action of rejecting the Republican members I named to serve on the committee,” McCarthy said. “It is not serving any legislative purpose. The committee’s only objective is to attempt to damage its political opponents – acting like the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee one day and the DOJ the next.”
In fact, McCarthy’s picks were rightfully rejected because two of them were hardcore Trump allies who intended to sabotage the probe at every turn. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is even a witness who also spoke to Trump that day. Also, Pelosi had consented to seat the third pick, but McCarthy threw a temper tantrum and withdrew all the picks. She had the power to reject his picks, just as Democrats had the power to create the committee.
“The committee has demanded testimony from staffers who applied for First Amendment permits,” McCarthy continued. “It has subpoenaed the call records of private citizens and their financial records from banks while demanding secrecy not supported by law. It has lied about the contents of documents it has received. It has held individuals in contempt of Congress for exercising their Constitutional right to avail themselves of judicial proceedings. And now it wants to interview me about public statements that have been shared with the world, and private conversations not remotely related to the violence that unfolded at the Capitol. I have nothing else to add.”
Contempt of Congress is a crime, as is refusing to comply with a subpoena. McCarthy is basically arguing that Americans can ignore subpoenas when that is clearly not the case. Congress has the power to enforce subpoenas by law. Trump and Republicans conspired to overthrow democracy, therefore, this investigation has a legislative purpose, especially since Congress itself was the branch of government attacked that day. Let’s not forget that Republicans investigated Benghazi for two years and found no evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton. That probe was pure persecution and had zero legislative purpose whatsoever.
“As a representative and the leader of the minority party, it is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee’s abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward,” McCarthy concluded.
McCarthy should be subpoenaed and held in contempt if he continues to refuse. Many believe he has something to hide and the committee must show him what real power looks like. It’s time for the committee to play hardball.
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