Jan. 6 Committee Leaders Slam McCarthy's 'Baseless' Remarks About Trump's Role in Capitol Riot
03:51 GMT 05.09.2021 (Updated: 18:26 GMT 03.11.2022)
© REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNSTU.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks with a reporter as he and fellow House members including Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) depart a Biden administration briefing on Afghanistan at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S. August 24, 2021
© REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNST
The statement addressed McCarthy's January floor speech, in which the top House Republican declared that "the president bears responsibility" for the US Capitol breach while the House was voting to impeach Trump for the second time over his link to the mayhem.
House select committee leaders on Saturday condemned House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for making "baseless" statements about former President Donald Trump's complicity in the events that unfolded at the US Capitol on January 6.
The statement by Democrat Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Republican Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming came in reaction to McCarthy's interview with local NBC station KGET-TV on Thursday, in which McCarthy claimed that the FBI and various Senate agencies probed Trump's involvement in the riot and concluded that he was not involved.
McCarthy made the assertion, according to Thompson and Cheney, based on an anonymous report which alleged that the Justice Department stated that Trump "did not cause, incite, or provoke the violence on January 6th."
"The Select Committee queried the Executive Branch agencies and congressional committees involved in the investigation," they said about the time the aforementioned report was initially released. "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."
They also chastised McCarthy for making "inconsistent" statements since the incident.
"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 concluded.
McCarthy, who is considered a political ally of the former president, has defended him in the months following the attack on Jan. 6, consistently criticizing the committee's work.
He issued a statement to telecommunications providers earlier this week warning them not to comply with the panel's request for phone and email information, saying that those who do so will be remembered by Republicans.
In late July, McCarthy lashed out at the only two Republicans appointed to the committee by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling Cheney and her fellow panel member Adam Kinzinger of Illinois "Pelosi Republicans," who would "play ball" with the Democratic agenda of the commission.
The House select committee sent a slew of records requests to government agencies and the White House last week, requesting documents pertaining to the events at the Capitol when Congress gathered to certify Biden's victory, and the events leading up to it.
The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol violence held its first hearing on July 27, following Republican members' refusal to support a bill that would establish an official, bipartisan 9/11 Commission-style probe into the turmoil.