Speed Reads

capitol riot aftermath

Kevin McCarthy says he won't cooperate with Jan. 6 committee

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is refusing to sit for an interview with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, saying on Wednesday night he won't participate in an "abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward."

The committee's chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), sent a letter to the top House Republican earlier Wednesday, asking him to share information on the conversations he had with former President Donald Trump "before, during, and after" the attack. Additionally, the panel requested information on McCarthy's communications with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in the wake of the riot.

Thompson proposed that McCarthy meet with the bipartisan committee on Feb. 3 or 4, and wrote that the panel's members have "tremendous respect for the prerogatives of Congress and the privacy of its members. At the same time, we have a solemn responsibility to investigate fully the facts and circumstances of these events." 

Last year, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) said McCarthy told her he asked Trump to "call off the riot," and stated it was clear the Capitol was stormed by Trump supporters, not antifa members. Immediately after the Jan. 6 riot, McCarthy said publicly that Trump "bears responsibility," but he has since shied away from openly criticizing Trump about the attack and his baseless claims of election fraud.

While McCarthy and Trump allies Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) have said they won't meet with the panel voluntarily, the committee has interviewed nearly 350 people and collected 35,000 pages of documents, The Associated Press reports. In December, Thompson told AP roughly 90 percent of witnesses subpoenaed by the committee have cooperated.