The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol is taking the extraordinary step of sending subpoenas to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other Republican lawmakers who have rejected the panel's requests to voluntarily cooperate.
In addition to McCarthy, the Democrat-led panel is subpoenaing Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.
Lawmakers on the panel have been weighing whether to subpoena their Republican colleagues for months, wrestling with whether they had the constitutional right to do so, and debating if they wanted to set such a precedent.
In its initial letter to McCarthy in January, the panel made clear it wanted to question him about his communications with former President Donald Trump, White House staff and others in the week after the January 6 attack, "particularly regarding President Trump's state of mind at that time."
The committee also wanted to understand how McCarthy's public comments since the attack had changed from critical to in defense of Trump over time, and questioned whether Trump pressured him to change his tone when the pair met in late January 2021.
Since the panel's letter to McCarthy, new audio revealed that in the days following the January 6 insurrection, the minority leader had considered asking Trump to resign. Audio has also exposed that McCarthy told Republican lawmakers on a private conference call that Trump had admitted bearing some responsibility for the deadly attack.
The panel first reached out to Jordan, one of Trump's staunchest allies on Capitol Hill, in December to learn more about communications he had with Trump on January 6, and with Trump allies who were stationed in the Willard Hotel war room in the days leading up to the attack.
Jordan and Trump spoke on the phone in the morning of January 6, 2021, while Trump was in the White House residence, White House call records in the panel's possession, first reported by CNN, showed. Since Jordan first acknowledged that he spoke to Trump on the phone that day, the Ohio Republican and Trump loyalist has waved off questions about it or have been inconsistent in his answers.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
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