(The Hill) – The House committee investigating the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol took a remarkable step on Wednesday asking for the voluntary cooperation of parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), The highest-ranking Republican to cope with such a demand in the probe.
In a six-page letter to McCarthy, the committee posed a multitude of questions to the Republican leader who initially condemned the attack and President Trump’s role in it, but who has since become a main critic of the panel and of his work.
“You admitted speaking directly with the former president while the violence was ongoing on January 6 … Additionally, you shared an account of your communications with President Trump with a local media outlet in your district, which reported that you had had a “very heated conversation” with the President as the riot unfolded, and urged the President to “get help” on Capitol Hill, “wrote President Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) In the letter to McCarthy.
“Obviously, all of this information relates directly to President Trump’s state of mind during the January 6 attack while the violence was ongoing.”
The committee requests to meet with McCarthy on February 3, asking him to release information about his communications with Trump “before, during and after the violent attack of January 6”.
The letter dissects McCarthy’s response to the attack, starting with his speech in the House where he said Trump “bears responsibility” for the attack.
He then uses multiple sources to relay McCarthy’s intense exchange with the White House during the attack and how he encouraged Trump to dismiss his supporters.
But the committee argues that McCarthy’s tone changed following a meeting with Trump in Mar-a-Lago organized after the former president made harsh statements about the minority leader.
“Your public statements regarding January 6 have changed dramatically since you first met Trump. At this meeting, or at any other time, did President Trump or his representatives discuss or suggest what you should say publicly, during the impeachment trial (if called as a witness) or in any subsequent investigation into your? conversations with him on January 6? ”asks the committee.
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