What the January 6 quotes say about Kevin McCarthy – Mother Jones

Kevin McCarthy addressing reporters on May 11. Rod Lamkey / CNP via Zuma

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Consider Kevin McCarthy. On Thursday, the California Republican received a subpoena – along with four of his GOP colleagues – from the committee investigating the January 6 uprising in Congress because he refused to voluntarily provide any information about Donald Trump’s response to the attack. These quotes from a congressional commission to coerce the testimony of congressmen were accurate described from various publications such as Without precedents. But even an incumbent president who refused to accept defeat and incited a violent attack on Congress was unprecedented. These are unusual times, we know. The trial – spoiler: Republicans probably won’t comply – is a little out of place.

What is perhaps most relevant here is the worldwide historical lust of McCarthy, the minority leader in the House, who, perhaps because of that quality, is likely to become the Speaker of the House next year. The citations highlight the decision of Republican leaders to hinder and undermine a bipartisan committee of their peers that is considering an attack against them.

This was not inevitable. McCarthy and Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell both made it known after January 6 that they had trouble with Trump. “The president is responsible for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mafia rioters,” McCarthy said on January 13, 2021. “He should have denounced the crowd immediately when he saw what was going on.” McConnell too . by voting to condemn Trump after his House impeachment. If the Kentucky Republican decided to do so, there was a chance that enough Republicans would join the Democrats to stop Trump from running again.

Once it became clear that Trump had not lost the GOP base due to the failed coup attempt, however, McCarthy he staggered back in submission. He refused to support a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurgency, and then attacked the panel created by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a partisan. After Republican Liz Cheney (Wyo.) Agreed to join the committee, McCarthy backed her Easter as chairman of the GOP caucus. Rep Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Another Republican who joined the panel, is not asking for re-election.

The cynicism of McCarthy’s actions was highlighted last month when New York Times journalists Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin revealed he privately condemned Trump even more forcefully than he did in public after January 6 and told colleagues he would call on Trump to step down. McCarthy obviously denied that relationship, leading Burns and Martin to do so release a confirmation audio cassette their accuracy and showing McCarthy is a liar, a revelation he shrugged off.

Unlike McCarthy, the other Republicans sued by the committee on Thursday – Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania – were consistently ardent supporters of Trump. All four consulted with the president after his defeat on how to use bogus election fraud to contest the outcome. Jordan, who was in contact with Trump on Jan.6, was among lawmakers who said Vice President Mike Pence could use his ceremonial role in certifying election results to prevent Joe Biden from taking office. Perry argued that states sent alternative lists of voters who would vote to keep Trump in power. Biggs and Brooks were among the lawmakers that Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander said “planned“With him a plan to” put maximum pressure on Congress “on January 6.

These lawmakers have defended their actions as legitimate attempts to look into allegations of election fraud and have spoken publicly about some of their communications with Trump. After Trump revoked approval of his Senate candidacy, Brooks, for example, revealed that Trump pressured him to “cancel the 2020 election”. But they refused to accept the questioning from the committee.

It is possible to imagine a scenario in which these Republican lawmakers, while critical of the January 6 committee, would nevertheless have provided information to its members. In January 2021, according to Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), McCarthy promoted the idea of ​​confronting Trump during the attack, telling colleagues that he had told Trump to “end the riot”, to which Trump would have replied at the time: “Well Kevin, I guess these people are more upset by the elections that you are. ” At the time, it might have seemed likely that he had voluntarily agreed to share the details of that phone call with other lawmakers. But McCarthy has been betting that attacking the panel is the best way for him to become a speaker, at which point he is widely expected to kill the committee. Politically, he might be right. But his character, these days, is revealed.