January 6 committee wants to hear from McCarthy after new audio emerges

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Washington — The House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection astatine the Capitol is redoubling its efforts to person GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy look for an interrogation amid caller revelations concerning his backstage conversations astir the deadly attack, the president said Tuesday.

Democratic Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said the sheet expects to determine this week astir issuing a 2nd petition to McCarthy, who has declined to voluntarily look earlier the panel. The committee is besides looking astatine summoning a widening radical of House Republicans for interviews, Thompson said, arsenic much accusation emerges astir their conversations with the Trump White House successful the run-up to the Capitol siege.

The committee is racing to wrapper up this signifier of its enactment amid recently released audio recordings of McCarthy's backstage remarks aft the January 6 attack, erstwhile supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol trying to halt the certification of President Biden's 2020 predetermination victory.

In a January 10, 2021, audio signaling released Tuesday by The New York Times, McCarthy tells chap Republican leaders that Trump's far-right allies successful the House are "putting radical successful jeopardy" with their nationalist tweets and comments that could enactment different lawmakers astatine hazard of violence.

McCarthy singled retired respective blimpish representatives, among them Matt Gaetz of Florida and Mo Brooks of Alabama, arsenic perchance endangering the information of different lawmakers and the Capitol complex. There was treatment connected the telephone of disciplining Brooks, who addressed the January 6 rally and urged the assemblage to "fight similar hell" earlier they marched to the Capitol. There's nary denotation McCarthy followed up with immoderate disciplinary measures.

Gaetz had gone connected tv to onslaught Republicans who had criticized Trump, including Liz Cheney of Wyoming.

"He's putting radical successful jeopardy," McCarthy said, according to the caller audio. "And helium doesn't request to beryllium doing this. We saw what radical would bash successful the Capitol, you know, and these radical came prepared with rope, with everything else."

Rettig Hearing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy conducts his play quality league successful the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center connected Friday, March 18, 2022. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

On Twitter, Gaetz called McCarthy and Rep. Steve Scalise, who said Gaetz' actions were "potentially illegal," "weak men." "While I was protecting President Trump from impeachment, they were protecting Liz Cheney from criticism," Gaetz tweeted precocious Tuesday.

Brooks dismissed the report, telling the Times connected Tuesday that "Kevin McCarthy spoke earlier knowing the facts." He said helium did not callback Mr. McCarthy ever speaking with him straight astir his rally speech.

Earlier, the Times reported that McCarthy, successful conversations with House Republicans, said that Trump had acknowledged bearing immoderate responsibility for the attack.

The audio recordings released by the Times are portion of reporting for a forthcoming book, "This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America's Future."

Thompson said the committee met astir of Tuesday deciding adjacent steps connected McCarthy and different House members.

"We volition astir apt look astatine engaging immoderate of the lawmakers by invitation astatine this point, and we'll spell from there," Thompson said astatine the Capitol.

The sheet had antecedently sought interviews from McCarthy and Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, 2 Trump allies cardinal to the effort to situation the results of the 2020 statesmanlike predetermination that Trump mislaid to Mr. Biden.

All 3 person declined to voluntarily appear, but the committee has stopped abbreviated of taking the much melodramatic measurement of issuing subpoenas to the sitting members of Congress to compel their testimony.

Thompson noted that the earlier invitation to McCarthy was sent "before this latest revelation that was reported connected tape." He told reporters that "in each probability" McCarthy would get different invitation.

At the aforesaid time, the sheet is broadening its outreach to a perchance overmuch wider radical of Republican lawmakers who are present known to person played a much important relation than antecedently understood up of the riot and arsenic it unfolded.

'We'll marque a determination connected immoderate others earlier the week is out," Thompson said.

Brooks, a Trump state who was with a radical of lawmakers who met successful December 2020 astatine the White House, has suggested helium would look earlier the panel.

Additionally, the sheet is present eyeing different House Republican lawmakers reported to person been moving intimately with Mark Meadows, Trump's erstwhile White House main of staff, arsenic they sought to situation Biden's win.

A fistful of lawmakers' names were included in grounds released precocious Friday arsenic portion of a tribunal filing arsenic the committee seeks entree to Meadows' substance messages.

"We volition astir apt look astatine engaging immoderate of the lawmakers by invitation astatine this point, and we'll spell from there," Thompson said Tuesday.

The sheet is moving swiftly to motorboat nationalist hearings, which it hopes to some commencement and reason by June, earlier issuing an archetypal study of its findings successful fall.

Zak Hudak contributed reporting.