- House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the Jan. 6 committee is “illegitimate” and he won’t contribute.
- The committee, which is investigating the Capitol riot, asked him to talk about Trump’s role.
- McCarthy accused it of an “abuse of power” designed to harm Republicans.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he will not cooperate with the January 6 committee.
McCarthy said in a Wednesday statement that the committee investigating the Capitol riot was “illegitimate.”
“As a representative and the leader of the minority party, it is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee’s abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward,” he said.
He also criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and said that the committee was not doing “legitimate” work.
“This committee is not conducting a legitimate investigation as Speaker Pelosi took the unprecedented action of rejecting the Republican members I named to serve on the committee,” he said.
“It is not serving any legislative purpose. The committee’s only objective is to attempt to damage its political opponents – acting like the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee one day and the DOJ the next.”
His statement came hours after the committee asked McCarthy for his voluntary contribution, a sign that the investigation is honing in on top Republicans.
In a Wednesday letter to McCarthy, the committee noted that he had acknowledged speaking to former President Donald Trump as the riot was underway, and that he spoke of Trump’s actions on January 6 in a speech on the House floor a week later.
McCarthy said on the House floor in the days after the riot that Trump bore “responsibility” for the attack, and He also briefly suggested Trump should be censured. But he has since defended efforts to overturn the election results, and said the attack was getting too much of a focus.
McCarthy said in his statement that “now it wants to interview me about public statements that have been shared with the world, and private conversations not remotely related to the violence that unfolded at the Capitol. I have nothing else to add.”