Hours after Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) sent a letter calling for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's "voluntary cooperation" with the January 6 select committee, McCarthy issued a statement making clear he will do no such thing. A release from McCarthy referred to the select committee as "Pelosi's illegitimate select committee" and read as follows:
“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. 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.
“The committee has demanded testimony from staffers who applied for First Amendment permits. 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.
“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.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), who chairs the January 6 select committee, sent a leader requesting House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) "voluntary cooperation with our investigation on a range of critical topics..." The select committee has reached out to other sitting members of Congress, including Reps. Scott Perry (R-PA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH), but Leader McCarthy is certainly the most prominent.
The Select Committee is seeking information from Rep. McCarthy about the violence of January 6th.— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) January 12, 2022
In a letter, Chair @BennieGThompson underscored the Minority Leader’s public statements & other reporting demonstrating that McCarthy has information relevant to the investigation. pic.twitter.com/7ftBN8kp7s
The six-page letter references numerous remarks McCarthy made about the January 6 Capitol riot, including how McCarthy denounced the riot and said during a January 13 House floor speech that "The President bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding," referring to then-President Donald Trump.
Not mentioned in the excerpt of McCarthy's floor speech from that day is that McCarthy still was opposed to articles of impeachment and would have rather preferred censure.
The select committee is particularly interested in hearing about communications McCarthy had with Trump. "As is readily apparent, all of this information bears directly on President Trump's state of mind during the January 6 attack as the violence was underway," the letter claims.
While Chairman Thompson seeks McCarthy's "voluntary cooperation," his letter goes on to take issue with some of McCarthy's actions. "The Select Committee is aware that, notwithstanding the unacceptable violence that day, you nevertheless agreed to support continued objections to the electoral votes from multiple states late in the evening of January 6th and the morning of January 7th," the letter points out. "The Select Committee wishes to question you regarding communications you may have had with President Trump, President Trump's legal team, Representative Jordan, and others at the time on that topic."
Tellingly, Chairman Thompson reveals in his letter that "Of course, the events on the day of January 6th and thereafter are not the Select Committee's only focus. We also must learn about how the President's plans for January 6th came together, and all the other ways he attempted to alter the results of the election."
The letter proposes a meeting with McCarthy on February 3 or February 4, 2022, or potentially the week of February 7, 2022.
Leader McCarthy and the select committee have an ugly relationship, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) vetoed his picks of Reps. Jordan and Jim Banks (R-IN). As a result, McCarthy pulled his other picks. There is also bad blood between Republicans and the Republican members on the select committee, Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) were appointed by Pelosi. Both have called out McCarthy by name.
Just earlier this week, Rep. Jordan responded to last month's letter from Thompson. Townhall was among the first to report on Jordan's letter, which not only refused to cooperate with such a partisan select committee, whose members had only been picked by one party, but called out their dirty tricks.
"The American people are tired of Democrats' nonstop investigations and partisan witch hunts," Jordan's letter opened with. "Your letter of December 22, 2021, unfortunately continues this Democrat obsession. It amounts to an unprecedented and inappropriate demand to examine the basis for a colleague's decision on a particular matter pending before the House of Representatives. This request is far outside the bounds of any legitimate inquiry, violates core Constitutional principles, and would serve to further erode legislative norms," he continued in his opening paragraph.
(1/2) I stand with immense respect for our Constitution, the Rule of Law, and the Americans I represent who know that this entity is illegitimate, and not duly constituted under the rules of the US House of Representatives.— RepScottPerry (@RepScottPerry) December 21, 2021
(2//2) I decline this entity’s request and will continue to fight the failures of the radical Left who desperately seek distraction from their abject failures of crushing inflation, a humiliating surrender in Afghanistan, and the horrendous crisis they created at our border.— RepScottPerry (@RepScottPerry) December 21, 2021
Rep. Perry also indicated he was refusing to cooperate.
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