House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday said he won’t cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee probing the breach of the U.S. Capitol, accusing the committee of an “abuse of power.”
Hours earlier, the House Select committee asked the California Republican to voluntarily hand over information, including about former President Donald Trump’s mental state during and after the events that unfolded on Jan. 6 last year.
“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 said in a statement.
The nine-member panel “is not conducting a legitimate investigation,” McCarthy asserted.
The Jan. 6 Commission was created by the Democratic-led House during the summer of 2021 in an almost totally party-line vote. Only two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), voted in favor of the commission; these two are also the only two Republicans with a seat on the committee.
Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, Democratic chairman of the panel, had asked McCarthy in a letter to disclose his private conversations with the former president “before, during, and after” the Capitol breach.
The panel also asked McCarthy to hand over his communications with former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the days before Jan. 6.
“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,” Thompson said. “For example, in advance of January 6th, you reportedly explained to Mark Meadows and the former President that objections to the certification of the electoral votes on January 6th ‘was doomed to fail.’”
The committee acknowledged the sensitive and unusual nature of its request as it proposed a meeting with McCarthy on either Feb. 3 or 4. “The Select Committee has tremendous respect for the prerogatives of Congress and the privacy of its Members,” Thompson wrote. “At the same time, we have a solemn responsibility to investigate fully the facts and circumstances of these events.”
Cheney, the committee’s vice chairwoman, did not rule out the possibility of McCarthy being subpoenaed by the panel in the future.
“We’re going to evaluate our options, but we will get to the truth,” she said late on Wednesday.
Over the past month, several Republicans have been called before the commission.
The first of these was Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.). Perry refused the summons, calling the Jan. 6 Commission “illegitimate.”
Next to be targeted was Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a vocal and outspoken critic of the Jan. 6 commission. Like Perry, Jordan refused the summons, citing “real concerns” over the commission’s track record of presenting doctored evidence as fact.
The Epoch Times has reached out to the Jan. 6 committee for comment.
Joseph Lord and The Associated Press contributed to this report.