BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Unfolding over a matter of hours Wednesday night, Bennie Thompson and the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) traded the latest shots in a political drama that has now stretched over a year.
As the committee continues to dig into the events of Jan. 6, it will have to do so without answers from McCarthy — at least, for now.
On Wednesday, the Select Committee sent a six-page letter to McCarthy, asking the House Minority Leader and close ally of the former president to voluntarily respond to a host of questions. Many of those questions dug at conversations McCarthy had with the former president and others during and after the attack on the Capitol.
Hours later, McCarthy declined the request. In a statement to 17 News, he accused the committee of “abuse of power.”
“It is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded not to participate,” McCarthy’s statement read in part.
In the committee’s letter, its chair, Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), highlighted McCarthy’s phone call with former president Trump on Jan. 6 and conversations with then-chief-of-staff Mark Meadows. Discussing these conversations, which have been public knowledge for some time, would provide insight into the former president’s “state of mind” during the attack on the Capitol, Thompson wrote.
But McCarthy fired back.
“[The committee] wants to interview me about public statements that have been shared with the world, and private conversations not remotely related to the violence that unfolded at the Capitol,” his statement read. “I have nothing else to add.”
Republican Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the committee’s vice chairwoman, spoke after McCarthy’s response Wednesday, and didn’t rule out the possibility of subpoenaing McCarthy in the future, if it was deemed necessary to “get to the truth.”
McCarthy is set to hold his weekly press conference Thursday, beginning around 8:30 a.m.