WASHINGTON – The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol on Thursday handed out sub-bonuses to five Republicans, including a significant increase in deeper scrutiny of the role Republicans have played in attempts to overthrow minority leader Kevin McCarthy. 2020 election.
The commission’s action is an extraordinary step in the years of congressional hearings – a panel targeting sitting lawmakers, including the party’s top leader, who refused to cooperate in the main investigation into the biggest attack on the Capitol in centuries.
Former President Donald J. A group of Republican members of Congress loyal to Trump played a key role in the events that led to the attack on their own company and Mr. Objectives and actions before, during and after the attack.
Mr. from California. McCarthy will be speaker if his party wins a majority in November. During the riots, Mr. Hot phone call with Trump, In which he appealed to the President to stop the mob invading the capital in his name. Mr. When Trump was rejected, according to Washington Republican Representative Jaime Herrera Butler, Mr. McCarthy described what he had exchanged with Mr. Trump stood by the rioters and said, “Well, Kevin, I think these people are very upset. It’s more about the election than you. “
Mr. McCarthy too Told privately to Republican leaders a few days later Mr. Trump admitted in another phone call that he had “some responsibility” for the attack.
The panel also provided saponins to other Republicans who claimed to have played a key role in the former president’s plan to use Congress to thwart the 2020 election. Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry Coordinated a plan to try to replace the acting attorney general Mr. on widespread vote fraud. After he opposed Trump’s false claims. Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, Mr. One of Trump’s most outspoken defenders, Was actively involved in trying to invalidate the election results.
Alabama’s Rep. Mo Brooks was the leader of the Republican effort to present legitimate challenges to counting election votes from war-torn states on January 6, 2021, and Mr Trump said She put pressure on him for a few months To help him get re-elected president. The group also invited Arizona Representative Andy Pix, Former President of the Ultra-Conservative House Freedom Caucasus Mr. who will defeat the 2020 election. Who sought to persuade state legislators to join Trump’s drive.
All five denied requests for voluntary interviews about the roles they played in the attack on his supporters, who believed the lie of the former president’s widespread election fraud, and continued to denigrate the group even after saponies were issued.
Speaking to reporters at Capitol Hill on Thursday, Mr. McCarthy said he had not seen the soap yet.
“My view on the committee has not changed,” he said. “They did not conduct a proper investigation. It looks like they want to go after their political opponents.
Mr. Perry called the investigation “a disgrace” and a “political witch hunt” by Democrats, “making headlines and distracting Americans from their ill-fated record of knocking America to the ground.”
The sapphires come as the panel prepares for a series of public hearings next month to reveal its findings. The eight hearings are scheduled to run for several weeks starting June 9, in an effort to attract large television audiences at some crucial time.
“The select committee is aware that many of our colleagues have information related to our investigation into the January 6 attack and its aftermath,” said Benny Thompson, a Democratic Democrat representative and chair of the committee. Report. “Before conducting our inquiries next month, we would like to voluntarily give members the opportunity to discuss these matters with the Committee.
Group leaders were reluctant to offer saponins to their fellow legislators. This is a rare move for a congressional committee, with the exception of the House Ethics Committee, which is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct by members.
For weeks, members of the Special House Committee and investigators have been personally tormented by how aggressively pursuing members of Congress have become lawmakers. Their choice of direct contact with Trump is against legal issues and the political consequences of doing so.
Behind closed doors, the committee and staff examined law, parliamentary rules and past precedents and decided to proceed, sources familiar with the investigation said.
In a letter sent to lawmakers on Thursday, Mr. Thompson wrote to the group that “there is no other way” because they refused to cooperate.
Wyoming’s Republican Representative and vice chair of the committee, Liz Cheney, said the decision was not taken lightly. “This is a reflection of how important and serious the investigation is and how serious the attack on the Capitol is,” he said.
Mr. It is noteworthy that Sapon was sent to McCarthy in view of his party’s high-ranking position. If he refuses to comply, it could set up a process that could lead to the Democratic-controlled House detaining him in the run-up to the midterm elections.
The panel has so far recommended four criminal defamation charges in Congress against witnesses who have refused to cooperate. The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $ 100,000 fine.
Committee members declined to comment Thursday on whether they would recommend an indictment against the sitting Republican lawmakers if they refused to comply.
Mr. McCarthy fears he will be sabotaged in the long run. In recent months, he has met longtime Washington lawyer William A. Discussed with Burke how to fight Sapona.
Republicans in Congress Mr. They were deeply involved in many aspects of Trump’s plans to stay in power: they joined in unsubstantiated lawsuits, spread the lie of widespread electoral fraud, and objected on Jan. 6 to certifying President Biden’s victory in several states.
On the conversations he had after the attack, Mr. The panel wants to investigate McCarthy About the president’s guilt in the attack and what needs to be done to address it. Mr. to cooperate with the investigation. The panel also suggested that Mr Trump may have influenced McCarthy’s denial.
Mr. McCarthy Released a blistering statement He denounced the group in January and said it was not going to cooperate with its investigation. He argued that the group was violating the privacy of Republicans through saponies for banking and telephone records. Mr. McCarthy denounced California Speaker Nancy Pelosi He turned down two of his five options to sit on the boardOne of them was Mr. Jordan, however, ignored the trial.
Ms. Pelosi added two Republicans to the committee – Ms. Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinsinger, both of Mr. Those who are openly critical of Trump.
The committee informed Mr Jordan By letter In December, its investigators wanted to question him about his communications prior to the Capitol riots. Mr. Along with Trump and his legal team and others involved in planning the January 6 rallies, Mr. News of Jordan and Mr. Including objections from Congress to attest to Fiden’s victory.
In the weeks after the 2020 election, Mr. A member of Congress since 2013 close to Jordan, Mr. Perry, compiling a document of allegations of voter fraud, said Mr. Perry, Mr. Trump’s attempts to reshuffle the election with a more compliant official. Mr. Even Perry Approved the idea Mr. to march on Capitol on January 6th. Encouraging Trump supporters.
Mr. In a letter to Pix, the leaders of the committee said that Mr. In connection with Trump’s efforts, after January 6, some Republicans wrote that they wanted to question him about the evidence that some Republicans were trying to get a presidential pardon. .
And team Mr. Said he wanted to inquire about Brooks Statements he issued in March Mr. In the months leading up to Trump’s election, Mr. To remove Pita and force a special election, Mr. Trump said he had repeatedly asked himself to run for president again.
The committee conducted more than 1,000 interviews with witnesses, but Adam P. B, a Democrat in California, said he wanted to hear from members of Congress involved in the president’s plans. Schiff and a member of the team said. The big step ”to the trial.
“What worries me the most is that if Republicans ever get close to the neck, they will overthrow the next election if Trump loses again,” he said. Schiff said more saponins were “possible” for members of Congress.
Republicans their official activities – Jan. On the floor of the House on the 6th Mr. Such as objecting to Biden’s victory – are protected by what is known as the so-called speech or debate section of the Constitution, which aims to protect freedom. Legislative Branch.
The clause states that senators and delegates will not be “questioned anywhere else” about any speech or debate in any room. It is widely explained that it involves not only words, but all legal action. In its face, however, that rule is only for questioning them in “other” places, such as courtrooms.
The committee has also requested to conduct an interview with Representative Ronnie Jackson Texas, Mr. Trump’s former White House physician, Othkeepers, has been charged with criminal mischief in connection with the attack, which is why he was mentioned in the encrypted messages of the militia group.
Mr. Jackson also voluntarily refused to cooperate, but he was not among those offered by Sapona on Thursday.
Ms. Pelosi declined to comment on the move. Maryland Representative Steny H. Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, said he was not worried about whether Republicans would try to retaliate against Democrat lawmakers if they won the House.
“We must all be asked to tell the truth in front of a committee that seeks important information for our country and our democracy,” he said. Hoyer said.
Michael S. Schmidt Contributed report.
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