FAFO: Jan. 6 Committee Drops Subpoenas On McCarthy, Jordan, Brooks, Biggs, And Perry
The January 6 Select Committee came out swinging today with subpoenas for five Republican congressmen. If House Leader Kevin McCarthy and Reps. Scott Perry, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, and Mo Brooks don't want to talk voluntarily about their role in the events leading up to the Capitol riot, then let them stand for the precedent that members of Congress can defy a subpoena from their own branch of government. That should come in handy next year when all congressional business will be focused on Hunter Biden Laptopghazi, The Biglyest Political Scandal In History™.
Your Wonkette is under no illusion that these filthy treason weasels are about to go under oath — we might have been born on a Tuesday, but it wasn't last Tuesday. But the subpoenas still matter, if only because they're functionally a trailer for next month's live hearings, and a promise that these assholes and their efforts to undermine American democracy are going to play a starring role.
The letter to McCarthy sent in January requesting a voluntary interview is the longest and has the biggest "Tell Cersei, I want her to know it was me." vibe — presumably because Liz Cheney knows damn well that none of her fellow Republicans save Adam Kinzinger have a shred of integrity, and she wanted her former leadership colleague to know she wasn't going to pull any punches when they inevitably told the Committee to get bent.
The letter quotes McCarthy saying on January 13, 2021, "The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate actions by President Trump: Accept his share of responsibility."
It also notes that McCarthy's conversations with Trump during and after the attack have been widely reported in the media, including the minority leader's demand that the then-president call off his supporters, only to be told, "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."
"The Select Committee has tremendous respect for the prerogatives of Congress and the privacy of its Members. At the same time, we have a solemn responsibility to investigate fully the facts and circumstances of these events," the letter intones somberly, before reminding McCarthy that he himself told his local paper that, “I don’t really have anything to add. I have been very public, but I wouldn’t hide from anything….”
McCarthy said months ago that he would not cooperate with what he views as a partisan witch hunt, so the cover letter for the subpoena issued this week is much briefer, just three terse paragraphs concluding that "The Select Committee believes that you have information that is important to its investigation. Unfortunately you have declined voluntary cooperation, and we are left with no choice but to issue you this subpoena."
As for Pennsylvania's Scott Perry, the statement put out by Committee Chair Bennie Thompson today alleges that he was "directly involved with efforts to corrupt the Department of Justice and install Jeffrey Clark as acting Attorney General. In addition, Mr. Perry had various communications with the White House about a number of matters relevant to the Select Committee’s investigation, including allegations that Dominion voting machines had been corrupted."
Safe bet that's a reference to testimony by Mark Meadows's former assistant Cassidy Hutchinson, who testified that Perry knew in advance that the "peaceful" rally goers on the Ellipse were going to head to the Capitol after the president and his goons spent hours winding them up.
The letters to Biggs and Brooks, both of which went out last week and are just being made public today, contain some very specific and pointed references to information the Committee has already collected on the congressmen.
The Committee cites evidence that Biggs pushed the nonsensical legal theory that Vice President Mike Pence had the unilateral authority to reject electoral votes, and participated in planning the rally, a fact referenced by wingnut ring leader Ali Alexander in a video he posted online. As Biggs is no doubt aware, Alexander not only testified before the Committee, but also received a grand jury subpoena, indicating that the Justice Department is conducting its own inquiry into the events of January 6.
"We have information regarding your efforts to persuade state legislators and officials that the 2020 election was stolen and/or to seek assistance from those individuals in President Trump’s efforts to overturn the election," the letter adds, before warning ominously that, "Certain communications that you had with Mark Meadows relate to this topic."
It concludes with a reference to efforts to secure pardons for those involved in fomenting the Capitol Riot:
Finally, recent information from former White House personnel has identified an effort by certain House Republicans after January 6th to seek a presidential pardon for activities taken in connection with President Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Your name was identified as a potential participant in that effort. We would like to understand all the details of the request for a pardon, more specific reasons why a pardon was sought, and the scope of the proposed pardon.
As for Brooks, who was recently un-endorsed by Donald Trump in the Alabama Senate race, the Committee appears to be offering him a chance at revenge. Although Brooks spoke at the pre-riot rally and was an aggressive advocate of the Big Lie about a stolen election, he recently put a little daylight between himself and the former president's obsessive efforts to get back in the White House by hook or by crook. (Mostly by crook, TBH.)
President Trump asked me to rescind the 2020 elections, immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House, immediately put President Trump back in the White House, and hold a new special election for the presidency. As a lawyer, I’ve repeatedly advised President Trump that January 6 was the final election contest verdict and neither the U.S. Constitution nor the U.S. Code permit what President Trump asks. Period.
Is Brooks dumb and/or desperate enough to turn on his former hero? Probably not, although we are talking about someone who was rejected by his own constituents in favor of a guy who was accused of touching teenagers, so it's probably worth a shot.
Get ready for Hot Committee Summer, kids. These hearings are gonna be LIT.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.