House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced Wednesday he would refuse to cooperate with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s witch hunt of political dissidents as it pretends to investigate the January 2021 Capitol riot.
“The committee is not conducting a legitimate investigation as Speaker Pelosi took the unprecedented action of rejecting the Republican members I named to serve on the committee,” McCarthy said. “It is not serving a legislative purpose. The committee’s only objective is to attempt to damage its political opponents – acting like the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee one day and the DOJ the next.”
In July, Pelosi took the self-admittedly “unprecedented” step to bar McCarthy’s appointments of Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Jim Banks, R-Indiana, to serve on the Select Committee, the latter of whom was to serve as ranking member. Instead, Pelosi replaced Banks and Jordan with NeverTrump crusaders Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney. The speaker’s deputies have continued to deny oversight requests to Republican lawmakers independently investigating the Jan. 6 security failures in violation of House rules requiring minority access.
Hours before McCarthy’s Wednesday night statement, Pelosi’s Select Committee asked McCarthy to “voluntarily provide information” to the House panel about the GOP leader’s communication with former President Donald Trump and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. McCarthy, however, blasted the committee’s assault on civil liberties through subpoenas requesting the phone records of private citizens who have no connection to the riot:
The committee has demanded testimony from staffers who applied for First Amendment permits. It has subpoenaed the call records of private citizens and their financial records from banks while demanding secrecy not supported by law. It has lied about the contents of documents it has received. It has held individuals in contempt of Congress for exercising their Constitutional right to avail themselves of judicial proceedings. And now it wants to interview me about public statements that have been shared with the world, and private conversations not remotely related to the violence that unfolded at the Capitol. I have nothing else to add.
“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 finished.
McCarthy’s rejection for voluntary cooperation follows Jordan’s same refusal on Sunday.
“I have no relevant information that would assist the Select Committee in advancing any legitimate legislative purpose,” Jordan wrote. “I cannot speak to Speaker Pelosi’s failure to ensure the appropriate security posture at the Capitol complex in advance of well-publicized protests on January 6, 2021.”
Before targeting McCarthy on Wednesday, the committee unveiled its latest round of subpoenas on Tuesday that target a trio of Trump advisers. One adviser to Donald Trump Jr., Andrew Surabian, was subpoenaed despite having no connection to the White House rally on Jan. 6, let alone the violence at the Capitol. Surabian is, however, operating a political action committee in support of Cheney’s primary challenger in Wyoming, attorney Harriet Hageman.