McCarthy demands that the Jan. 6 committee keep all documents and promises to hold hearings next year



CNN

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy sent a letter on Wednesday to the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021, demanding it preserve all records and transcripts and promising to hold hearings next year on the security flaws that led to to the breach of the US Capitol.

After winning the House majority earlier this month, Republicans made it clear that they will prioritize investigating President Joe Biden and his administration on several fronts. The final warning from McCarthy, who is vying for speakership in the House, indicates that Republicans could also use some of their time in the next Congress to try and rewrite the narrative of the insurgency.

“It is imperative that all information gathered is preserved, not only for institutional prerogatives, but for transparency to the American people,” wrote McCarthy, who failed to comply with a subpoena to appear before the commission. “The American people have a right to know that the allegations you have made are supported by the facts.”

Mississippi Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Select Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he had not seen the California Republican’s letter to the committee, but that the panel intended to keep everything. He added that McCarthy “had the chance to have members on the committee, he had the chance to come and testify before the committee, so I think the horse has left the stable.”

Thompson said, “We’ll do our job. We close on December 31. If he wants to conduct what he wants as a speaker, that is his choice.”

McCarthy has indicated no interest in establishing a Republican-led select committee on January 6, as some on the right have insisted. But McCarthy — who is struggling to block speakers’ votes — is expected to give his members some leeway to re-litigate the Democrat-led select committee’s investigation. That effort will likely be housed in existing committees.

Earlier this year, House Administration Committee Republicans sent a similar preservation request to the select committee and also pledged to continue investigating the Jan. 6 security flaws. The House GOP plans to issue its own report on the subject when the select committee releases its final report before the end of this year.

Thompson reiterated Wednesday that the panel not only intends to keep everything, but will also release as much as possible to the public through its final report once the committee gets the report back from the printer.

“A lot depends on when we can get it back once we get it to the printer and how that affects the Christmas holidays,” Thompson said.

Top House Republicans would much rather put January 6 in the rearview mirror, but McCarthy must win over hardline critics and keep former President Donald Trump happy if he wants to become speaker — and that group is eager to undermine the committee’s investigation, which has painted a scathing portrait of Trump and his allies.

Meanwhile, members of the select committee will have an important meeting Friday to discuss the final report, as well as the ability to make criminal references, CNN reported earlier Wednesday.

A subcommittee of members is also expected to provide the full committee with options on a number of pressing issues, including presenting evidence of possible obstruction, possible perjury and possible witness tampering, as well as possible criminal referrals to the Justice Department, according to multiple sources. sources familiar with the Committee’s work.

Friday’s meeting will also discuss how to deal with the five Republican lawmakers who refused to cooperate with their subpoenas, including McCarthy.

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