Jan 6 commission asks GOP leader Kevin McCarthy to cooperate on probe

In a major development, the Jan. 6 House Selection Committee on Wednesday asked GOP leader Kevin McCarthy to volunteer to participate in the investigation.

In a letter, the committee asked him to voluntarily provide information.

It does not force him to provide any information or sit before the committee at this time.

Chairman Bennie Thompson said in the letter that he believes McCarthy has relevant information that could explain the facts, circumstances and causes of the January 6, 2021 attack.

Thompson also wants information from McCarthy about events in the days before and after January 6.

“You acknowledged speaking directly to the former president while the violence was ongoing on Jan. 6,” Thompson wrote.

“The Select Committee would like to question you about any communications you had on that subject at the time with President Trump, President Trump’s legal team, Representative Jordan and others,” Thompson wrote.

McCarthy has made several statements about January 6 and his talks with Trump that day.

ABC News has contacted McCarthy’s office for comment.

He is now the third congressman the committee has contacted for information about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

In recent weeks, GOP representatives Jim Jordan and Scott Perry were also contacted by the select committee, but they declined requests to sit for an interview or provide documents. The panel does not rule out trying to coerce their testimony.

The committee has proposed to meet McCarthy on February 3 or 4, 2022, with an alternate date the following week if he is unavailable.

“The Select Committee has tremendous respect for the prerogatives of Congress and the privacy of its members. At the same time, we have a solemn responsibility to fully investigate the facts and circumstances of these events,” they write.

In particular, the committee believes that McCarthy can speak about Trump’s “state of mind” leading up to, during and after the Capitol riots.

Thompson’s letter to McCarthy contains several comments previously made by McCarthy, including interviews in which he discussed his conversations with Trump while the violence was ongoing.

“As is readily apparent, all of this information relates directly to President Trump’s state of mind during the January 6 attack when the violence was ongoing,” the commission’s letter said.

The committee is also seeking information about communications with Trump after January 6, 2021.

“The Select Committee has received simultaneous text messages from multiple witnesses signaling significant concerns raised after Jan. 6 by White House staff and the president’s supporters regarding President Trump’s state of mind and his ongoing behavior. that you had one or more conversations with the president during this period,” the letter reads.

“It appears you may have also spoken to President Trump about the possibility that he would face a resolution, impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment. It also appears that you have identified other possible options, including immediate resignation of President Trump from office,” it adds.

The letter also points to McCarthy’s visit to Trump in Mar-a-Lago as a possible reading of Trump’s state of mind. The meeting took place shortly before the start of his impeachment trial in the Senate.

“Despite the many substantial concerns you expressed about President Trump’s responsibility for the January 6 attack, you paid a visit to President Trump in Mar-a-Lago on January 28 (the impeachment trial began on February 9, 2021). While you were there, you reportedly discussed campaign planning and fundraising to retake the majority of the House in 2022.”

“The Select Committee does not intend to ask you about electoral politics or campaign-related issues, but would like to discuss any communications you had with President Trump at the time regarding your account of what actually happened on January 6. Your public statements regarding to January 6. Have changed significantly since your meeting with Trump At that meeting, or at any other time, President Trump or his representatives discussed or suggested what you should say publicly, during the impeachment trial (if called as a witness) , or in any other later inquiry into your conversations with him on January 6?”

Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany appeared before the Jan. 6 select committee on Wednesday, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to ABC News.

She sat virtually before the committee, the source said.

McEnany was subpoenaed in November 2021.

At the time, the committee issued a press release stating that the “former White House press secretary has made multiple public statements from within the White House and elsewhere about alleged fraud in the November 2020 election. For example, during the White House’s first post-election press conference.” Ms McEnany claimed there were “very real allegations” of fraud the former president’s re-election campaign was pursuing, saying that postal voting was something “we have found to be particularly prone to fraud”, Ms McEnany accused the Democrats of “welcoming fraud” and “welcoming illegal voting. In addition, Ms. McEnany was reportedly sometimes present with the former president when he saw the January 6 attack.”

McEnany was also a spokesperson for Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.

Benjamin Siegel of ABC News contributed to this report.

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