Jan. 6 committee refers McCarthy, GOP congressmen for House ethics violation over subpoenas
The committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, said Monday it would be referring four Republican members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee for refusing to comply with subpoenas.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., made the announcement near the conclusion of the House select committee’s final meeting, in which referrals for criminal charges were made against former President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the violence of Jan. 6 and attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The members being referred to the committee include House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, all Republicans.
In 150 pages of “introductory material” released at the conclusion of the meeting, the committee laid out its reasoning for why it wanted to speak with each legislator and why their lack of participation hurt the investigation. The committee said that McCarthy had multiple conversations with Trump and then-Vice President Mike Pence on and about Jan. 6, including one in which Trump referred to his supporters storming the Capitol by saying, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”
The committee stated that Jordan participated in a number of postelection strategy meetings with White House officials and Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who was a point person in pushing false allegations about the election being stolen. According to the committee, Jordan had conversations with Trump and Giuliani on Jan. 6 and spoke with White House staff in the following days about the "prospect of Presidential pardons for Members of Congress."
The document alleges that Perry, like Jordan, was involved in numerous White House meetings, including discussions on potential social media posts calling on Trump supporters to march on Congress. Perry also reached out about the possibility of a presidential pardon. Additionally, the committee pointed to text messages from Biggs to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in which he proposed encouraging state legislatures to appoint pro-Trump electors and urged the president not to concede before working toward appointing fake electors in the weeks following the election.
Former Trump adviser and conservative media pundit Steve Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison for contempt of Congress in October after refusing to comply with a subpoena. A jury had found Bannon guilty of the two counts this summer, one for refusing to appear for a deposition before the panel and the other for refusing to produce requested documents.
“The Rules of the House of Representatives make clear that their willful noncompliance violates multiple standards of conduct and subjects them to discipline,” wrote the committee, detailing the specific violations before adding, “A House Member’s willful failure to comply with a congressional subpoena also reflects discredit on Congress. If left unpunished, such behavior undermines Congress’s longstanding power to investigate in support of its lawmaking authority and suggests that Members of Congress may disregard legal obligations that apply to ordinary citizens.”