WASHINGTON — House investigators said Thursday they have issued subpoenas to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers as part of their probe into the violent Jan. 6 insurrection, an extraordinary step that has little precedent and is certain to further inflame partisan tensions over the 2021 attack.
The Jan. 6 panel’s subpoenas for McCarthy, R-Calif., and Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama come as the investigation is winding down and as the panel prepares for a series of public hearings this summer.
The committee has been investigating McCarthy’s conversations with then-President Donald Trump the day of the attack and meetings that the four other lawmakers had with the White House as Trump and his aides conspired how to overturn his defeat.
Congressional subpoenas for sitting members of Congress, especially for a party leader, are almost without precedent in recent decades. The panel had previously asked for voluntary cooperation from the five men, along with a handful of other GOP lawmakers, but all of them refused to speak with the panel.
“These members include those who participated in meetings at the White House, those who had direct conversations with President Trump leading up to and during the attack on the Capitol, and those who were involved in the planning and coordination of certain activities on and before January 6th,” the committee said as it announced the subpoenas.
In a Jan. 10, 2021, audio recording released by The New York Times, McCarthy tells fellow Republican leaders that Trump's far-right allies in the House are “putting people in jeopardy” with their public tweets and comments that could put other lawmakers at risk of violence.
Earlier, the Times reported that McCarthy, in conversations with House Republicans, had blamed Trump for the attack.