The House Jan. 6 Committee sent a letter on Wednesday asking House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for information about the insurrection.
The six-page letter asks McCarthy for his voluntary cooperation in the probe, noting the risk of “continued violence after January 6th.”
It asks McCarthy a range of questions about Jan. 6, including whether he asked Trump to resign in the aftermath of the attack.
“It appears that you may also have discussed with President Trump the potential he would face a
censure resolution, impeachment, or removal under the 25th Amendment,” the letter reads. “It also appears that you may have identified other possible options, including President Trump’s immediate resignation from office.”
McCarthy and Trump spoke over the phone during the attack. The minority leader reportedly told Trump to call off the rioters, and to “get help” for besieged members of Congress.
The panel references an internal House GOP call that McCarthy held on Jan. 11, in which he reportedly told members that Trump admitted “some degree of responsibility.”
McCarthy is the third member of Congress to receive a letter from the panel, after Reps. Scott Perry (R-PA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH).
But McCarthy, who spoke openly after the insurrection of trying to persuade Trump to call off the rioters, is by far the most powerful target of the letters to date.
Even after the insurrection had been quashed, the letter notes, McCarthy voted in favor of objecting to Biden electors from key states. The committee, the letter says, has gathered information in its investigation suggesting that even after the attack concluded “then-President Trump and his legal team continued to seek to delay or otherwise impede the electoral count.”
The panel wants to ask McCarthy about messages he exchanged with “President Trump, President Trump’s legal team, Representative Jordan, and others at the time on that topic.”
McCarthy has not proved welcoming of the panel’s efforts. In July, he tried to appoint Rep. Jordan to serve on the panel, among four others.
After that bid to turn the committee into a clown show flopped, McCarthy switched to a different offensive tack: telling communications firms that received subpoenas from the panel that Republicans “will not forget” it if they comply, demanding that the companies ignore the letters.
Three weeks after the attack, on Jan. 28, 2021, McCarthy flew to Mar-a-Lago to meet with Trump. Reports suggested that the two discussed “campaign planning and fundraising” for the 2022 elections, as Trump’s impeachment trial for Jan. 6 loomed in the background.
“The Select Committee has no intention of asking you about electoral politics or campaign-related issues, but does wish to discuss any communications you had with President Trump at that time regarding your account of what actually happened on January 6th,” the letter reads.
The letter offers glimpses into how the panel’s investigation is progressing.
In addition to the mention of efforts by Trump and his team to further delay the electoral college count after the attack ended, the panel also revealed a new text from Fox News host Laura Ingraham to Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
“Remarks on camera discouraging protest at state capit[o]ls esp with weapons will be well advised given how hot the situation is,” Ingraham wrote in the Jan. 12 message. “[E]veryone needs to calm down and pray for our country and for those who lost their lives last week.”
Trump supporters appeared outside multiple state Capitols on Jan. 6. After the insurrection concluded, many feared that further attacks on lightly defended state capitols around the country would take place.
The committee’s letter notes that McCarthy expressed a similar concern publicly, at around the same time.
“It’s raising the ability for greater violence and we’ve got to stop that and come together as one nation,” he told a Bakersfield, California news outlet.