The Jan. 6 select committee has subpoenaed five Republican congressmen, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Jim Jordan.
The subpoenas target some of former President Donald Trump’s closest allies in the House, several of whom were engaged in numerous meetings and planning sessions amid Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election results. The move represents a sharp escalation in the select committee’s tactics after months of weighing how aggressively to pursue testimony from their own colleagues.
In addition to McCarthy and Jordan, the panel sent summons to Reps. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.). All five lawmakers have rejected investigators’ previous requests that they voluntarily testify.
The subpoena demands testimony from the five lawmakers in the final week of May. Spokespeople for the members did not immediately return a request for comment.
Members of the select panel have wrestled for months with the question of how to handle their GOP colleagues. Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) had previously expressed skepticism that subpoenaing lawmakers would be advisable, as it would likely trigger a lengthy legal fight unlikely to be resolved before in the current Congress. But the panel’s thinking appears to have changed, as every avenue of the probe led investigators toward fellow House members.
Some of the subpoena targets — and several other GOP lawmakers — were regularly in contact with Trump and the White House in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6. They helped amplify false claims about the integrity of the 2020 election and were among the earliest to call on colleagues to challenge the results.
But members were mindful that demanding testimony from lawmakers would potentially set a precedent. While House and Senate ethics committees have subpoenaed members and staff before, there’s little precedent for an investigative committee — particularly one mainly guided by the majority party — turning its subpoena powers on fellow members of the House.