House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he will not voluntarily cooperate with the Jan. 6 select committee’s inquiry into the Capitol riot.
“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 Wednesday night, just five hours after the committee made its request.
The Democratic-controlled House riot panel sent a letter to the California Republican on Wednesday afternoon requesting that he voluntarily appear before the committee. Topics the committee wanted to go over with McCarthy included his communications with former President Donald Trump on the day of the riot and why he continued his objections to Electoral College results after the riot.
McCarthy’s refusal to voluntarily work with the committee, the third House Republican to deny such a request, raises the question of whether the panel will take the unprecedented step of issuing subpoenas targeting sitting lawmakers.
Asked Wednesday if McCarthy could be subpoenaed if he refuses to appear voluntarily, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson told reporters, “We’ll consider it.” He said the committee’s interest was mostly in McCarthy’s public statements, and to his knowledge, information on file with the committee does not include text messages or bank records.