US Capitol riot panel subpoenas McCarthy and four other Republicans

12 May 2022, 19:34

Capitol Riot Oath Keepers
Capitol Riot Oath Keepers. Picture: PA

Congressional subpoenas for sitting members of Congress, especially for a party leader, are almost without precedent in recent decades.

Investigators have issued subpoenas to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other Republicans as part of their probe into the violent January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

The January 6 panel’s subpoenas for Mr McCarthy and Republican Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama come as the investigation is winding down and as the panel prepares for a series of public hearings this summer.

Election 2022 California
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (J Scott Applewhite/AP)

After the announcement, Mr McCarthy, who aspires to be House Speaker if Republicans take the majority in midterm elections, told reporters that “I have not seen a subpoena” and that his view on the committee has not changed since they asked for his voluntary co-operation earlier this year.

“They’re not conducting a legitimate investigation,” Mr McCarthy said. “Seems as though they just want to go after their political opponents.”

The committee has been investigating Mr McCarthy’s conversations with then-president Donald Trump on the day of the attack and meetings that the four other politicians had with the White House as Mr Trump and his aides conspired how to overturn his defeat.

Congressional subpoenas for sitting members of Congress, especially for a party leader, are almost without precedent in recent decades.

The panel had previously asked for voluntary co-operation from the five men, along with a handful of other Republican politicians, but all of them refused to speak with the panel.

“These members include those who participated in meetings at the White House, those who had direct conversations with President Trump leading up to and during the attack on the Capitol, and those who were involved in the planning and coordination of certain activities on and before January 6th,” the committee said as it announced the subpoenas.

Mr McCarthy has acknowledged that he spoke with Mr Trump on January 6, which happened as Mr Trump’s supporters were beating police outside the Capitol and forcing their way into the building. But he has not shared many details.

The committee requested information about his conversations with Mr Trump “before, during and after” the riot.

Mr McCarthy took to the House floor after the rioters were cleared and said in a forceful speech that Mr Trump “bears responsibility” for the attack and that it was the “saddest day I have ever had” in Congress — even as he went on to join 138 other House Republicans in voting to reject the election results.

The GOP leader soon made up with Mr Trump, though, visiting him in Florida and rallying House Republicans to vote against investigations of the attack.

By Press Association

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