Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Vice Chairwoman of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol slammed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for “baseless” comments he made about former President Trump’s involvement in the attack.
During an interview with local NBC affiliate KGET-TV Thursday, McCarthy suggested that the FBI and multiple senate agencies investigated Trump’s connection to the deadly riot and determined that he was not involved.
“Well, you know what’s interesting about that? … The FBI has investigated this. The Senate had bipartisan committees,” McCarthy said. “And you know what they found? That there is no involvement.”
In response, Cheney, along with Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), issued a joint statement lambasting the GOP leader for his unfounded assertion.
Thompson and Cheney said McCarthy made the claim based on an anonymous report indicating that the Justice Department “concluded that Donald Trump did not cause, incite, or provoke the violence on January 6th.”
They said that when the report was first published, “the committee queried the Executive Branch agencies and congressional committees involved in the investigation.”
“We’ve received answers and briefings from the relevant entities, and it’s been made clear to us that reports of such a conclusion are baseless,” the committee leaders stated.
They then called out McCarthy for “inconsistent” comments he’s made since the attack.
“We also remind Minority Leader McCarthy of his statements following January 6th, including his statement from the House Floor on January 13th—which are inconsistent with his recent comments,” Thompson and Cheney continued.
The leaders were referring to a floor speech McCarthy gave as the House was voting to impeach Trump for a second time due to his connection to the Capitol riot, during which McCarthy said that “the president bears responsibility” for the attack.
McCarthy, an ally of the former president, has gone on defense in the months since the Jan. 6 attack and has repeatedly lashed out at the committee for its work.
The minority leader recently issued a threat to telecommunications companies not to comply with the panel’s request to turn over phone and email records, stating that Republicans “will not forget” those who complied.
McCarthy’s offer did not respond to a request for comment.