House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy indicated that he won’t cooperate with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol unless they provide him in advance the materials they will rely on in questioning.
The California Republican is asking the Democrat-led panel to also provide its legal and constitutional basis for issuing the subpoena to him, according to a letter from his attorney.
“All valid and lawfully issued subpoenas must be respected and honored. Unfortunately, the words and actions of the Select Committee and its members have made it clear that it is not exercising a valid or lawful use of Congress’ subpoena power,” wrote Elliot Berke, who is representing Mr. McCarthy.
Mr. McCarthy’s missive follows a similar request by Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, who also asked the committee to provide its basis for the subpoena, as well as the references members will rely on in their questioning.
Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Jordan also co-authored an op-ed reiterating their belief that the committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riot is politically motivated and that they had no further information to provide about the events.
“By subpoenaing us and three other Republican members, the Select Committee is escalating its abusive tactics. This attempt to coerce information from members of Congress about their official duties is a dangerous abuse of power, serves no legitimate legislative purpose, and eviscerates constitutional norms,” the two lawmakers wrote in The Wall Street Journal.
The op-ed also attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for rejecting Mr. McCarthy’s GOP picks for the committee, which included Mr. Jordan as well as Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana.
Mrs. Pelosi denied the two lawmakers spots because of their objections to President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Jordan also said they had raised questions with the committee this year when they had been asked for voluntary interviews, but they never heard back from the members or their staff.
Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama also were subpoenaed this month by the committee.
The panel is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans: Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, both vocal critics of former President Donald Trump.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, Mississippi Democrat, is the chair of the committee.