Senate Democrats, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Jan. 6 select panel to seek McCarthy’s testimony

The Jan. 6 select committee has requested House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s testimony about his interactions with Donald Trump as a mob swarmed the Capitol.

In a letter to the GOP leader on Wednesday, select panel chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said the panel wants to know about the details of Trump’s phone call with McCarthy on Jan. 6, 2021 — one the California Republican himself once described as “heated.” According to some accounts of that call, Trump initially downplayed the notion that his supporters were responsible for breaching the Capitol.

As Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) has recalled, when McCarthy asserted to the then-president that it was Trump’s supporters who attacked the building, Trump replied: “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” Herrera Beutler publicly shared her account of the call, based on a conversation with McCarthy, ahead of Trump’s second impeachment last year.

It’s unclear if McCarthy will comply with the request, but it is not likely given his months-long criticism of the Democratic-run select panel as a politically motivated attempt to undercut the GOP. Asked whether the panel would subpoena him to ensure his compliance, Thompson told reporters, “We will consider it.”

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