- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 20, 2022

A conservative anti-Trump group is launching a billboard campaign calling out House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for refusing to testify before Congress‘ Jan. 6 committee.

The Republican Accountability Project announced Thursday that it has put up 50 billboards across Washington and in Mr. McCarthy‘s congressional district in California featuring his image and the question: “What are you hiding, Kevin McCarthy? Testify about January 6th.”

The group, which is run by conservative commentator Bill Kristol, said the six-figure campaign will run for about a month. The group originally was named Republican Voters Against Trump. With the new name, its mission expanded to discrediting Republican elected officials who fail to oppose former President Donald Trump.

Mr. McCarthy last week shot down a request from the committee asking him to sit down for an interview in the hopes of gleaning more details about his contact with Mr. Trump during and after the Jan. 6. 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

His refusal put the House select committee in the awkward position of considering a subpoena against the highest-ranking House Republican and potential punitive actions if he continued to refuse to cooperate.

Mr. McCarthy is well-positioned to become speaker of the House if Republicans flip control of the chamber in the 2022 midterm elections.

He spoke by phone with Mr. Trump as rioters stormed the Capitol.

In a speech on the House floor a week later, Mr. McCarthy said Mr. Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters” and “he should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”

Mr. McCarthy, however, visited Mr. Trump in Mar-a-Lago that same month and opposed Democrat-led efforts to investigate the events.

Mr. McCarthy has accused Democrats of using the probe to “play politics,” and shift the focus away from President Biden’s failures.

Mr. McCarthy snapped at reporters last week when he was asked about his refusal to work with the select committee, saying the committee’s investigation is flawed and he is not hiding facts from the probe.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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