The move represented a significant escalation in the committee’s efforts to obtain information regarding lawmakers’ communications with then-President Donald Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows before, during and after the attack.
All five Republican lawmakers summoned on Thursday declined to voluntarily provide information to the committee.
In a statement, Thompson said the commission “has learned that several of our colleagues have information relevant to our investigation into the January 6 attack and the events leading up to it.”
“Before we hold the hearings next month, we would have liked to have the opportunity for members to discuss these matters with the committee voluntarily,” Thompson said. “Unfortunately, the individuals who received the subpoenas today have declined, and we are compelled to take this step to help ensure that the Commission reveals the facts regarding January 6th. We urge our colleagues to comply with the law, do their patriotic duty and cooperate with our investigation as hundreds of other witnesses have done.”
The Commission In her letters to McCarthy, she said: And brooks It forces Republicans to appear before statements on May 31. sediment Bigs And Berry scheduled for May 26, and Jordan He is scheduled to testify on May 27.
The commission’s long-awaited public hearings are scheduled to begin on June 9.
Until Thursday, the committee was reluctant to call GOP lawmakers Because of a variety of issuesincluding time restrictions – a The protracted fight may continue well beyond the November midterm elections — and fears of retaliation if Republicans regain a majority in the House of Representatives, which many Democrats privately believe will happen.
Representative Adam B. Chef (D – ca), member of the committee, He said the five lawmakers summoned on Thursday had “some of the committee’s most relevant information” as it investigated the January 6 attack..
“These are the people who marched, who were on the phone with the president, who was said to have been asked by the president to cancel the election, and perhaps one of them was asking for a pardon for those involved,” Schiff told reporters at the Capitol. “It’s hard to imagine witnesses with more evidence that is directly relevant to our paradise and more important information to the American people.”
Investigators were working to establish summonses for sitting members of Congress, According to two people familiar with the investigation. One example they have focused on is the House Ethics Committee’s two-year investigation into the personal finances of former Congressman Charles B. Rangel. New York Democrat who He was eventually convicted of 11 charges of ethicsSubpoenaed by the House Ethics Committee’s Subcommittee of Inquiry After rejecting repeated requests for the forensic accountant’s report and other documents.
The Republicans summoned by the Jan. 6 committee did not abide by the orders. In a brief interview with reporters, McCarthy declined to say whether he would comply with the subpoena while repeating his criticism of the committee.
He said, “My view on the committee has not changed.” They are not conducting a legitimate investigation. It seems they just want to go after their political opponents.”
Jordan, Perry, Bigs and Brooks also declined to say whether they would comply and said they had not yet seen the subpoenas until Thursday afternoon.
“This is all for the headlines and the excitement,” Perry told reporters.
In an interview with Fox News, Bigs argued without evidence that the commission “doesn’t really have the authority to issue subpoenas” and that it “didn’t want to honor what they do.”
Brooks released a lengthy statement deriding the commission as a “witch-hunt commission” and repeating Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen.
at January letter to McCarthyThompson said the commission was interested in his correspondence with Meadows before the attack, as well as McCarthy’s communications with Trump during and after the riots. Thompson wrote that the details of those conversations could provide the committee with more insight into Trump’s state of mind at the time.
“We must also learn how the president’s plans for January 6 came together, and all the other ways in which he attempted to alter the election results,” he wrote. For example, prior to January 6, you reportedly made it clear to Mark Meadows and the former president that objections to the validation of the January 6 electoral votes were “doomed to fail.”
McCarthy responded in January by saying in a statement that “the commission’s sole objective is to attempt to harm its political opponents.”
Jordan gave conflicting answers about his contacts with Trump. He said earlier that he can’t remember how many times Talk to Trump On January 6th they spoke at least once. The committee also sought details of any communications Jordan had with Trump’s legal team, White House staff, and any others involved in planning in connection with the January 6 date.
Berry Introduce Trump to Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official whom Perry sought to appoint as acting attorney general. Clark played a key role in Trump’s efforts to challenge the election results.
In a letter to Biggs earlier this month, the Jan. 6 commission said the text messages indicated that the Arizona Republican was seeking to persuade state officials of the misconception that the 2020 election was stolen. The committee also said Bigs was part of an effort by “some Republicans in the House after January 6th” to seek a pardon from Trump for their efforts to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory.
Brooks said in a recent interview that Trump has repeatedly asked him to “cancel the 2020 election.” He and Biggs are among three right-wing activist GOP lawmakers Ali Alexander He said I helped him In planning a “Stop the Robbery” rally in Washington that preceded the riots. Both lawmakers denied any involvement.
If Republicans retake the House in November, McCarthy is widely expected to be elected president — although some members of the House Republican convention are They expressed reservations Following the recent leak of audio recordings in which McCarthy blamed Trump for the rebellion and expressed concern about the actions of several Republican House members days after the January 6 attack.
Representative Jim Banks (R-I), chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said he would defer to McCarthy and others about whether they should comply with subpoenas. He asserted — as nearly all House Republicans have said — that the bipartisan committee is a “witch hunt.”
“It’s a political circus,” Banks said. “It’s a joke. And no one is surprised that they took another step to completely politicize this.”
Representative Liz Cheney (Wu), one of two Republicans serving on the committee, told reporters that the decision to call lawmakers “was not one that was taken lightly.”
“It’s a reflection of the importance and severity of the investigation and the severity of the attack on the Capitol,” Cheney said.
When asked on Thursday if he thought McCarthy and the four other Republicans would comply with the subpoenas, Thompson replied, “I hope they will.”
“The names of the five Republicans came up in a variety of ways, and we feel the information and the response to it are important,” Thompson told reporters at the Capitol, during the investigation.
He declined to say if a disdain vote was in the works if lawmakers refused to comply.
“No talk of disdain. “We’re going to talk about the next steps, which could be a number of things,” Thompson said.
Likewise, other members of the committee did not participate in the next steps the committee would take should GOP lawmakers fail to comply with subpoenas.
“I’m not going there,” Rep. Jimmy B. said. “I must believe that every member of Congress will desire to do his legal and patriotic duty to participate in an investigation into an attack on our institution and an attack on the political institutions of the United States.”
It is possible that the committee has already collected ample evidence that shows the full extent of the role some lawmakers played in connection with the January 6 attack. To date, the commission has conducted nearly 995 statements and interviews, received 125,000 documents and is following up on 470 submissions received through its guideline.
Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.), the second Democrat in the House of Representatives, made suggestions that members of his party might subject themselves to subpoenas in the future under a potential Republican majority.
“I have no problem being called in person,” said Hoyer, who is not a member of the committee. “You know, I’ll tell the truth. If I have the information they need, that’s fine. I don’t understand this extraordinary reaction to pursuing appropriate legal action.”
Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.