House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., seems very, very afraid of what might turn up if the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol acquires his phone records.
For months, he has tried to skirt fellow lawmakers’ attempts to understand what role his actions played during the deadly riot earlier this year. His desperate spin job continued Sunday during an appearance on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
Speaking to host Maria Bartiromo, McCarthy complained that the House select committee — which includes both Democrats and Republicans — was too partisan before falsely claiming Congress has no right to subpoena phone records.
“It is purely politics,” he said. “Congress does not have the right to go after mine or your phone number records.”
He’s wrong. Congress is, in fact, authorized to request phone and social media data if those records are deemed relevant to their investigations. Nonetheless, he has tried to intimidate companies out of complying, threatening in August that they could be “subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States" if they cooperate with the committee's requests.
Immediately after McCarthy and other Republicans floated that theory, members of the select committee disputed it as “baseless.”
In his interview with Bartiromo on Sunday, McCarthy whined about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's refusal to include on the committee Republican lawmakers — namely, Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks — who supported baseless objections to last year’s election results. Though McCarthy claimed the committee is "not bipartisan," it does in fact include two Republican members: Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, who serves as the panel’s vice chair.
Last month, the select committee included McCarthy’s name in its request for social media companies and phone companies to preserve records that could be relevant to the Jan. 6 attack. McCarthy has admitted to speaking to Trump on the phone as the violence unfolded inside the Capitol that day. The then-president allegedly told McCarthy that the attack was happening because “these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
That McCarthy could have insight into the riot is the prime reason the committee is justified in seeking those documents. But the Republican's desperate spin job suggests he’s afraid of investigators drawing near — and exposing exactly what happened that day.
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