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Kevin McCarthy Has a New Jan 6 Problem And House Investigators Are Looking Into It

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Kevin McCarthy

Recently leaked phone calls have revealed that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) discussed with other top Republicans the possibility that former President Trump would seek a pardon over his actions on Jan 6, 2021. Now the House Select Committee is investigating the conversation because it shows McCarthy and other Republicans knew what Trump did that day is criminal, yet they refused to hold him accountable.

In an audio recording published by The New York Times last week, McCarthy not only asserted that Trump was responsible for the Jan 6 attack on the US Capitol but he also expressed concern that Trump’s actions were criminal by bringing up a potential pardon from Mike Pence if Trump resigned.

“Now, this is one personal fear I have. I do not want to get into any conversation about [former Vice President Mike] Pence pardoning,” McCarthy says in the Jan. 10 recording as part of a broader conversation about Trump potentially resigning after the insurrection.

Now, experts are saying the audio shows Republicans at the highest level may have been worried about the legality of Trump’s actions leading up to the Jan. 6 riot and are urging the committee to zero in on that exchange, The Hill reports.

“You would not want to be the middleman in a conversation about Trump being pardoned by Pence because [McCarthy] would be concerned about somebody saying he obstructed justice in some way,” said Jeff Robbins, a former U.S. attorney who also served as chief counsel for the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

“There’s no need to have a personal fear about being involved in a pardon conversation unless there’s been some suggestion of a conversation about a pardon. And there’s no need to have a discussion about a pardon unless people within McCarthy’s sphere are having serious discussions about Trump’s culpability in a crime,” he added, according to The Hill.

“And there’s no need for a pardon if all you’ve done is something that is immoral or unethical or optically bad. The need for a pardon exists when there is criminal culpability.”

Robbins added: “What’s most notable about it is that it sounds as though he believes that nobody else on the call needs to have a further explanation of it. That is to say, it sounds as if he knows that the question of a potential pardon by Pence has come up in some form. He doesn’t explain what he means, he doesn’t tell people the reason I’m raising this is X, Y, or Z. It sounds as though people or their staffs have already been discussing the question of whether or not, for instance, his resignation should be linked in any way to a potential pardon.”

Robbins went on to say that the discussion around a pardon could be more illuminating when it comes to guilt.

“Saying that he accepted some responsibility is too vague, it could mean a lot of different things,” he said.

“The conclusion that the former president may have actually committed a federal crime comes into play in reference to his personal fear in getting involved in a conversation about a pardon,” he added. “Letting down the American people, none of that implicates any requirement for a pardon. Crimes require pardons.”

Read it on The Hill.