Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), one of two Republicans on the select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach, said he wants to issue subpoenas to anyone who had contact with former President Donald Trump, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
“I would support subpoenas to anyone who can shed light on that,” Kinzinger, who voted to impeach the former president earlier this year, told ABC News on Aug. 1.
“If that’s the leader, that’s the leader,” he added, referring to McCarthy.
Kinzinger, who has frequently appeared on corporate news channels in recent years to criticize Trump, noted that he wants more information about lawmakers who attended a Jan. 6 event that was held by the former president before the Capitol breach. Trump, during his speech that day, called on protesters to demonstrate peacefully.
“I want to know what they were doing because that’s going to be important,” he told ABC News, noting that he believes “a lot of people around him” have more knowledge than they’re letting on. “Did the president make any calls? And if he didn’t, why?”
Another Trump critic, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), was also named to the panel, which was backed by no members of Republican House leadership. McCarthy pulled his GOP picks for the panel last month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)—a strong backer of the committee—rejected the selection of Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
Republicans in both the House and Senate have said such a panel is unnecessary because there is already a significant number of investigations regarding the Jan. 6 incident. They’ve also argued that Pelosi and Democrats are trying to keep the Jan. 6 breach in the news by holding televised hearings that are designed to denigrate Trump and his supporters.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, suggested recently that Cheney and Kinzinger could be spies for the Democrats and should be booted from the Republican caucus.
Biggs told media outlets on July 29 that allowing the lawmakers into Republican meetings would be similar to having “two spies sitting right there.”
“You knew they were spies, but you couldn’t remove them,” he said.
The Freedom Caucus wants House Republicans to approve a rule automatically removing lawmakers from the conference who accept a committee assignment that the party hasn’t approved.
It takes only a majority of House Republicans to change an internal rule. That’s a lower hurdle than the two-thirds majority Republican rules require to remove a lawmaker from the conference.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.