By Jan Wolfe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, and other lawmakers received subpoenas on Thursday from the House committee investigating last year’s attack on the Capitol by then-President Donald Trump’s supporters.
The Jan. 6 House Select Committee issued the subpoenas to try and secure the lawmakers’ testimony after they had rejected voluntary cooperation with the investigation.
McCarthy said in a statement in January that he would not cooperate with what he described as an “illegitimate” committee.
“As a representative and the leader of the minority party, it is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee’s abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward,” McCarthy said in the statement.
On Jan. 6, 2021, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, encouraged by the Republican president in a speech outside the White House to protest formal congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in a November 2020 election.
The committee is trying to establish what Trump did while thousands of his supporters attacked police, vandalized the Capitol and sent members of Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence running for their lives.
“We also must learn about how the President’s plans for Jan. 6 came together, and all the other ways he attempted to alter the results of the election,” the Select Committee’s chairman, Representative Bennie Thompson, said in a January letter to McCarthy.
McCarthy, who has faced criticism from fellow conservatives within his caucus, publicly zigzagged on Trump’s culpability by first saying the former president bore some responsibility for the violence – but finally visited Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort home in Florida and posed for a photograph with him.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Tim Ahmann, Chris Reese and Grant McCool)