House 1/6 panel wants to hear from McCarthy after new audio

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising on Capitol Hill is stepping up efforts to have GOP leader Kevin McCarthy appear for an interview amid new revelations about his private conversations on the deadly attack, the president said on Tuesday. .

Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the panel plans to decide this week whether to send a second request to McCarthy, who declined to appear voluntarily before the panel. The committee is also considering calling an expanded group of House Republicans for talks, Thompson said, as more information emerges about their conversations with Trump’s White House on the eve of the Capitol siege.

The committee is rushing to wrap up this phase of its work amid newly released audio recordings of McCarthy’s private remarks after the Jan. 6 attack, when supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.

In a Jan. 10, 2021, audio recording released Tuesday by The New York Times, McCarthy tells fellow Republican leaders that Trump’s far-right House allies are “putting people at risk” with their tweets and public comments that could put other legislators at risk of violence.

Earlier, The Times reported that McCarthy, in conversations with House Republicans, blamed Trump for the attack. The audio recordings released by The Times are part of the reporting for an upcoming book, “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future.”

Thompson said the committee met most of Tuesday to decide on next steps for McCarthy and other House members.

“We’ll probably look to engage some of the invitee legislators at this point, and we’ll go from there,” Thompson said on Capitol Hill.

The panel previously requested interviews with McCarthy and Republican Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, two Trump allies at the heart of the effort to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election that Trump lost. against Biden.

All three refused to appear voluntarily, but the committee stopped short of taking the most dramatic step of issuing subpoenas to sitting members of Congress to compel them to testify.

Thompson noted that the previous invitation to McCarthy had been sent “prior to this latest revelation which was reported on tape”. He told reporters that “in all likelihood” McCarthy would receive another invitation.

At the same time, the panel is expanding its reach to a potentially much larger group of Republican lawmakers who are now known to have played a larger role than previously thought before the riot and as it was unfolding.

“We’ll make a decision on the others before the end of the week,” Thompson said.

Republican Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama, a Trump ally who was part of a group of lawmakers who met in December 2020 at the White House, suggested he would appear before the panel. Brooks also spoke at Trump’s Jan. 6 rally before the crowd descended on Capitol Hill.

Additionally, the panel is now monitoring other House Republican lawmakers who reportedly worked closely with Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, as they sought to challenge Biden’s victory.

A handful of lawmakers’ names were included in testimony released Friday night as part of a court filing as the committee seeks access to text messages from Meadows.

“We’ll probably look to engage some of the invitee lawmakers at this point, and we’ll go from there,” Thompson said Tuesday.

The panel is working quickly to launch public hearings, which it hopes to both begin and conclude by June, before releasing an initial report of its findings in the fall.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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