BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — On Thursday, the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack held a two-hour public hearing — the first of many the panel will hold this month as it seeks to lay out what led to the riot in January of 2021.
The hearings come after a 10-month investigation, in which the panel analyzed documents and conducted interviews with more than 1,000 people close to the attack.
The panel subpoenaed Bakersfield Congressman Kevin McCarthy in May, but on Thursday McCarthy made it clear he doesn’t plan to participate.
“Speaker Pelosi’s Select Committee on January 6 is unlike any committee in American history. In fact, it’s the most political and least legitimate committee in American history,” McCarthy said.
But the House Minority Leader’s opinion on investigating the Capitol attack wasn’t always this way. In the days fresh off the attack, McCarthy took a central role in calling for the events to be looked into.
“I support a bipartisan commission to get all the facts of what took place that day,” he said on January 13 2021.
Then, in January this year, McCarthy declined the panel’s request to speak before the committee about his communication with former President Donald Trump that day.
“Maybe if Nancy Pelosi has done what other speakers would do and not play politics with it, there could have been a different answer,” he said.
Since then, came audio recordings of McCarthy on calls with GOP leadership after the attack, shedding more light on the House Minority Leader’s perspective on Jan. 6.
“Tension is too high. The country is too crazy. I do not want to look back and think we caused something or missed something and someone got hurt,” he said.
It all lead up to McCarthy receiving an official subpoena from the committee in May.
This time, McCarthy’s lawyer sent a letter to the panel arguing it is not valid because doesn’t have 13 members or 5 republicans and didn’t serve a legitimate legislative purpose.
In Thursday’s hearing, Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) mentioned McCarthy by name.
“You will hear that leaders on Capitol Hill begged the President for help, including Republican leader McCarthy who was quote scared and called multiple members of President Trump’s family after he could not persuade the President himself.”