Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is likely to replace Nancy Pelosi as speaker after Republicans narrowly won back the House, has warned the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection that the GOP will be looking into its work.
McCarthy wrote to the panel’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), on Wednesday demanding that the panel maintain all the evidence gathered.
“It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people,” the letter reads. “The official Congressional Records do not belong to you or any member, but to the American people.”
Thompson said the committee will keep records of the evidence it has garnered — as it is required to do anyway — and also plans to release the majority of those findings to the public.
McCarthy “had a chance to have members on the committee, he had a chance to come and testify before the committee, so, I think the horse has left the barn,” Thompson said. The only Republicans on the panel are Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.).
Thompson said the committee is continuing its work as it races to complete its final report.
“We will end Dec. 31,” Thompson said. “If he wants to conduct whatever he wants as speaker, it’s his choice.”
In his letter, McCarthy also cited reports detailing grievances of committee staffers with Vice Chair Cheney’s reported insistence for the report to focus on Trump’s conduct, leaving out important findings in other areas of the probe.
“It is clear based on recent news reports that even your own members and staff of the Committee have no visibility into the totality of the investigation,” McCarthy wrote.
Panel members, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), have downplayed those accounts.
McCarthy accused the committee of not getting to the bottom of why the Capitol was not secure on Jan. 6.
“The Republican majority in the 118th Congress will hold hearings that do so,” McCarthy pledged. Republicans have previously sought to cast blame on Pelosi for bearing responsibility for the breach of the Capitol that day.
The GOP is widely expected to end the probe when it takes control in the chamber and also to seek to undermine the findings of the panel. Republicans have pledged to launch a series of other investigations into the spending of the committee and on other topics, including the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and the “politicization” of the Justice Department.
The Jan. 6 committee on Wednesday interviewed Robin Vos, the speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly, who has said Trump pressured him to overturn 2020 election results in his state 20 months after the election, according to NBC News.
Vos described the committee interview as “brief,” adding that he answered questions about the 2020 election in his state, in a statement shared with CNN.