McCarthy tells Jan. 6 committee he is unlikely to comply with subpoena

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) released a statement Friday saying he is unlikely to comply with a subpoena issued this month asking him to testify before the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

An 11-page response to the committee from McCarthy’s attorney questioned the authority of the committee and asserted that lawmakers on the panel are “not exercising a valid or lawful use of Congress’s subpoena power,” according to a letter from Elliot S. Berke, McCarthy’s attorney. .

Berke goes on to request information from the committee, including a more specific list of topics and topics the committee intends to discuss with McCarthy, as well as the legal rationale behind the subpoena request. McCarthy’s attorney also asks if the committee is adhering to the boundaries of the resolution that authorized the panel.

“While Congress maintains a vast and impressive power of constitutional scrutiny to serve as an important element of our system of checks and balances and separation of powers, it is undemocratic for a majority party to attempt to use the full force of government federal government to attack perceived political rivals,” Berke argues.

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McCarthy’s decision comes after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told the panel that he would only cooperate with the committee’s subpoena if they met certain conditions, such as sharing all evidence the committee has obtained regarding his role in the Jan 6 attack.

McCarthy and Jordan wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal this week that criticized the bipartisan committee for “arming the government to attack Republicans,” and claimed they had “no relevant information” to provide to the panel for ” advance its legislative purpose”. ”

Other Republican members of Congress who have been subpoenaed include Representatives Mo Brooks (Alabama), Andy Biggs (Arizona) and Scott Perry (Pennsylvania), all of whom have refused to voluntarily provide information to the committee.

“The refusal of these MPs to cooperate is a continuing attack on the rule of law and sets a dangerous new precedent that could hamper the House’s ability to exercise oversight in the future,” the committee spokesman said. , Tim Mulvey, in a statement Friday evening. “President [Bennie G.] Thompson will officially respond to these members in the coming days. »

The House committee is on track to begin public hearings into the attack next month.

McCarthy’s step-by-step ruling means the panel will have to quickly decide on next enforcement actions for non-compliant lawmakers.

Jordan demands evidence from Jan. 6 panel as condition to comply with committee

Lawmakers on the panel have previously outlined a range of potential disciplinary actions for recalcitrant House Republicans, including criminal contempt referral to the Justice Department and a referral to the House Ethics Committee.

“No conversation about contempt. We’ll talk about next steps, which could be a number of things,” Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters earlier in May after the committee announced the subpoenas.

The response from GOP lawmakers could also set a precedent for more potential future member-to-member subpoenas in the event Republicans regain a majority by November’s midterm. House Republicans are already laying the groundwork for a number of GOP-led investigations against the Biden administration and Democrats.

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