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What the Jan. 6 Panel Wants to Learn From 5 G.O.P. Lawmakers

WASHINGTON — In deciding to take the highly unusual step of issuing subpoenas to five Republican members of Congress, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack concluded that trying to compel their testimony was important enough to justify an escalatory step involving their colleagues.All five of the Republicans subpoenaed on Thursday have previously refused to appear voluntarily before the committee. The most prominent of them, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, is his party’s leader in the House and in line to become speaker if Republicans win control of the chamber in November. He has sought legal advice in recent months on how to fight a subpoena, though he has yet to say how he will respond to the panel’s action.But the committee has made clear that it believes all five may have information that is important to its efforts to document efforts by President Donald J. Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which culminated in the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, by a pro-Trump mob.Here are the subjects that the committee could be interested in hearing about from each of the five Republicans.

Representative Kevin McCarthy

The committee is seeking to question Mr. McCarthy about conversations he had with Mr. Trump during and after the attack about his culpability in the assault and what should be done to address it. The committee has also suggested that Mr. Trump, whose political support is vital to Mr. McCarthy, may have influenced the congressman’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation.Mr. McCarthy has acknowledged getting into a heated argument with Mr. Trump during the Capitol attack, in which the president appeared to side with the rioters as they were tearing through the grounds.According to Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Washington Republican who has said that Mr. McCarthy recounted the exchange to her, Mr. Trump ignored Mr. McCarthy’s pleas to call off the rioters and sided with them instead, saying, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”Interest in the details of those conversations has only increased in light of leaked audio in which Mr. McCarthy told colleagues that Mr. Trump had expressed feeling partly responsible for the attack.The audio, obtained by The New York Times and released in April, showed Mr. McCarthy recounting an exchange with the former president, in which he claimed Mr. Trump had been relatively contrite about how his language concerning the election might have contributed to the riot.“Does he feel bad about what happened? He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened, and he’d need to acknowledge that,” Mr. McCarthy said in the recording.Earlier, Mr. McCarthy had told colleagues that he was going to push Mr. Trump to resign.

Representative Scott Perry

The committee first publicly approached Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania in December with a letter requesting information, in the panel’s first formal attempt to interview a sitting member of Congress.Committee members have argued that Mr. Perry, who leads the deeply conservative House Freedom Caucus, was one of main architects behind a plan to install Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official, as the acting attorney general after he appeared sympathetic to Mr. Trump’s false allegations of widespread voter fraud.Mr. Clark appeared eager to pursue various conspiracy theories about hacked voting booths and other forms of election fraud, as well as to pressure state elections officials to overturn results in Georgia.Committee members and investigators have said that Mr. Perry introduced Mr. Clark and the former president. They have also found evidence that Mr. Perry was frequently in touch with Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff, over encrypted messaging services in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6.After the election, Mr. Perry helped assemble a dossier of purported instances of voter fraud and also encouraged Mr. Trump’s supporters to take part in the march on the Capitol that resulted in the riot.Mr. Perry, a former Army helicopter pilot who is close to Mr. Meadows and another of the Republicans now under subpoena, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, coordinated many of the efforts to keep Mr. Trump in office. His colleagues referred to him as General Perry; he retired from the Pennsylvania National Guard in 2019.

Representative Mo Brooks

Members of the committee have expressed interest in testimony from Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama after he broke with Mr. Trump and accused the former president of pressing him to find a way to remove President Biden from power.While Mr. Brooks was initially

By: Zach Montague and Luke Broadwater
Title: What the Jan. 6 Panel Wants to Learn From 5 G.O.P. Lawmakers
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2022/05/13/us/politics/jan-6-republicans-subpoenas.html
Published Date: Fri, 13 May 2022 22:57:27 +0000

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