Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to reject the possibility of contempt charges for House leadership, saying the committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot would take it “one step at a time” if Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) does not comply with a subpoena.
The speaker said she was “proud” of the committee, which last week subpoenaed McCarthy and several other House Republicans deemed connected to the events preceding the riot, and would not commit not to take the extraordinary step of holding those who refuse to comply in contempt.
“The committee will take this one step at a time,” Pelosi told host George Stephanopoulos during a segment on ABC’s This Week. “They’re working in a very strong bipartisan way to seek the truth, to find the truth of what happened with an assault.”
“People say to me, ‘Well, this is unprecedented,'” Pelosi told Stephanopoulos regarding the creation of the Jan. 6 committee. “Well it’s unprecedented for the president of the United States to incite an insurrection on the Capitol, on the Congress, on the Constitution, in that manner. And we must seek the truth. And I’m proud of the work of the committee.”
McCarthy told the Washington Examiner Thursday that he had “not seen” the subpoena, adding that his opinions on the committee were unchanged.
“They’re not conducting a legitimate investigation. It seems as though they just want to go after their political opponents,” McCarthy said.
When asked on Friday whether he had plans to comply with the subpoena, he wished everyone a “nice weekend.”
Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Mo Brooks of Alabama also received subpoenas earlier that day to appear before the committee. McCarthy’s attorney also received a subpoena from the committee.
“We write to request your voluntary cooperation with our investigation on a range of critical topics, including your conversations with President Trump before, during and after the violent January 6th attack,” Chairman Bennie Thompson wrote to McCarthy in his letter. “You have acknowledged speaking directly with the former President while the violence was underway on January 6th. And you summarized your conclusions regarding President Trump’s conduct on January 6th in a speech you made January 13th on the House floor.”
Thompson encouraged his Republican colleagues to “comply with the law, do their patriotic duty, and cooperate with our investigation as hundreds of other witnesses have done,” according to his statement.
The committee is scheduled to hold public hearings in June.