House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is asking the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol to preserve all its documents, saying the coming Republican majority plans to review its work.
“It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people,” McCarthy wrote in a letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the select committee.
“The American people have a right to know that the allegations you have made are supported by the facts and to be able to view the transcripts.”
It’s a threat that in many ways rings hollow for a panel that is weeks away from releasing to the public a massive report covering its more than yearlong investigation, including the release of more than 1,000 interviews with witnesses.
Thompson told reporters late Wednesday that everything would be “not just preserved, but made available to the public.”
He also noted that McCarthy withdrew several appointments to the committee after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejected two of his picks.
“He had a chance to have members on the committee. So he had a chance to come and testify before the committee. So I think the horse has left the barn. And we will do our work, we will end Dec. 31. If he wants to conduct whatever he wants as Speaker, it’s his choice. But we sunset Dec. 31. He can read the report. We won’t have anything in our possession after Dec. 31,” Thompson said.
“The subpoena I signed for him to come and testify before the committee will be part of the record.”
The warning from McCarthy, who is running to be Speaker in the next Congress, comes as the panel is set to meet Friday to evaluate how to deal with the five GOP lawmakers who failed to comply with their subpoenas, a group that includes McCarthy.
That meeting will also cover whether to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department. Recommendations could cover anyone involved in the scheme to keep former President Trump in power, but it would also include additional contempt of Congress referrals for those who defied the panel when it compelled their testimony.
The committee, and later the full House, made four such referrals to the Justice Department, which chose to pursue charges in two cases: against former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon and former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.
Mychael Schnell contributed.