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McCarthy’s Response To Jan 6 Panel Subpoena Could Result In Criminal Contempt Of Congress

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Kevin McCarthy

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has sent a letter to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, suggesting that the subpoena he received from the panel is not legitimate because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected his picks for the bipartisan committee.

“All valid and lawfully issued subpoenas must be respected and honored. Unfortunately, the words and actions of the Select Committee and its members have made it clear that it is not exercising a valid or lawful use of Congress’ subpoena power,” McCarthy’s lawyer Elliot S. Berke wrote to the panel.

The letter mostly focuses on longtime GOP arguments that the committee is not acting with legitimate authority because none of the sitting members were appointed by the minority leader.

However, the letter fails to acknowledge that the members selected by McCarthy have also been subpoenaed by the Jan 6 panel over their role in the insurrection that day.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) vetoed Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio, two of McCarthy’s initial picks for the committee, citing “statements and actions” made by the pair in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The move prompted McCarthy to pull his other three recommendations and refuse to make any more picks.

In his letter, McCarthy asked the committee to provide a list of topics that it wants to discuss with McCarthy and copies of documents it wants to ask McCarthy about before he can decide if he will comply with the subpoena.

Should he decide to ignore the subpoena, he could be referred for criminal contempt of Congress.

You can read the full letter here.