House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday said the House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 events at the U.S. Capitol was playing partisan politics and insisted questions about the incident should be about security.
“I just had a conference with our members and the Sergeant of Arms and the Capitol Police,” the California Republican told reporters at the Capitol Thursday. “[One question was] if the committee has asked for any of the communications from the former Sergeant of Arms to the speaker that day? To the best of his knowledge, they have not asked for any of them.”
McCarthy, who is expected to become the next House speaker if there is a GOP turnover this fall, further told reporters that he was the first person to offer a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6, not House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“[She] waited four months,” McCarthy said, adding that during that time period, he began to fear that Pelosi would “play politics with this.”
He said he believed Pelosi would “prepare who can have a subpoena power, who can have the scope.”
McCarthy has refused to cooperate with the committee’s request for documents about his private communications with former President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, the Senate had two bipartisan committees looking at what happened on Jan. 6, but Pelosi was putting together the committee that ended up excluding McCarthy’s two key nominees, Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks.
“Never did I believe that such a speaker would play such politics,” said McCarthy. “Maybe if Nancy Pelosi had done what other speakers would do and not play politics with it, there could have been a different answer.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy was one of the few people who spoke with then-President Trump while the incidents were happening at the Capitol. He told reporters Thursday that he had already spoken with several networks on Jan. 6 about that conversation.
“I was advising the president of what was happening here,” said McCarthy. “There is nothing that I can provide the Jan. 6 committee … there is nothing in that realm. It is pure politics, what they are playing.”
McCarthy’s comments to reporters came after he appeared earlier on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” where he called the select committee’s request for information from him a “distraction because they don’t want people looking at what’s happening.”
“It is no coincidence that they sent me the letter yesterday when it just came out the numbers that the United States has the highest inflation we had in the last 40 years,” McCarthy said in the interview. “That is a tax on all Americans.”
Further, he said that the committee is “not legitimate” because there are no Republicans on it that weren’t appointed by Pelosi.
“The speaker didn’t let the minority appoint individuals to the committee,” said McCarthy. “Adam Schiff just two days ago said on CNN that he’s got to do everything in his power to stop Kevin McCarthy from ever becoming speaker. They don’t have a legislative purpose to this.”
The committee also started its investigation with Chairman Bennie Thompson saying that Pelosi is off-limits, said McCarthy.
“There are two focuses that this committee should be working on,” McCarthy said.
“Why was the Capitol so ill-prepared that day and to make sure it never happens again. But they will not bring forth any of the sergeant of arms’ communication with the speaker.”
Instead, the committee is “purely an arm of the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) going after any of their political opponents, people see it … there’s nothing I can add to this committee going forward. They just want to attack surely based upon the political realm when you have members and members of that committee saying their goal is to deny the chance to be the speaker. That is politics.”