‘What are you hiding?’ Republican group’s billboard campaign targets McCarthy’s rejection of Jan 6 committee

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A political ad campaign from a group of Republicans and conservatives is singling out GOP House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy over his refusal to cooperate with an investigation into the events leading up to and surrounding the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021.

The Republican Accountability Project – formerly Republican Voters Against Trump, a project of conservative anti-Donald Trump organisation Defending Democracy Together – is paying for 50 billboards in Washington DC and in Mr McCarthy’s California district, asking, “What are you hiding, Kevin McCarthy? Testify about January 6th.”

The ads are set to run for the next four weeks.

“Kevin McCarthy was one of the few people who spoke to Trump during the January 6 attack,” Republican Accountability Project executive director Sarah Longwell said in a statement. “It’s time for him to tell the American people what he knows.”

In a letter dated 12 January, the House select committee investigating the assault on Congress formally requested the cooperation of Mr McCarthy, who was in close contact with then-president Trump before, during and after the attack.

Congressman Bennie Thompson, who chairs the committee, said the panel obtained “contemporaneous text messages from multiple witnesses” expressing “significant concerns” about Mr Trump’s “state of mind and his ongoing conduct” following the attack.

“It appears that you may also have discussed with President Trump the potential he would face a censure resolution, impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment,” wrote Mr Thompson, referring to a Constitutional provision that allows for Cabinet members to convene for the removal of the president.

“It also appears that you may have identified other possible options, including President Trump’s immediate resignation from office,” Mr Thompson added.

Mr McCarthy – who rejected the creation of a bipartisan committee to investigate the attack, led opposition to the formation of a select committee and pulled GOP members from it, then routinely criticised its work – said in a statement that “the committee’s only objective is to attempt to damage its political opponents”.

“It is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate with this select committee’s abuse of power that stains this institution today and will harm it going forward,” he said in a statement last week.

The Independent has requested comment from Mr McCarthy’s office.

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