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Trump allies in Congress refused to participate in the January 6 investigations. Now they're scrambling for a counter-punch plan ahead of the committee's hearing with few details to go by

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  • The January 6 select committee's first public hearing is Thursday at 8 pm.

  • House GOP leaders declined to take part in the process and are scrambling to play defense.

  • Initial attacks have ranged from critiquing staffing choices to denouncing possible policy changes.

The anticipation about what the January 6 committee plans to show the world during its prime-time public hearing Thursday has lit a fire under House Republicans expected to defend Donald Trump from the year-long investigation they refused to take part in.

The challenge for MAGA-friendly lawmakers like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, both of whom have been subpoenaed by the select committee but have declined to discuss what they know about the deadly siege at the US Capitol, is having to coordinate a punch-back-harder strategy designed to appease the embattled former president without fully knowing what the committee has uncovered.

It's not yet clear what Trump's allies in and out of Congress will do besides hit conservative media airwaves at the same time the hearings are happening.

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich declined to lay out specifics about any coordinated counterprogramming but told Insider that GOP leaders are fully on board with defending Trump against any assertions made during the public hearings.

"The entire MAGA movement is united against this illegitimate committee and will work to ensure President Trump is defended against yet another Democrat show trial," Budowich wrote in an email. "Elected leaders and conservative organizations from every corner of our party are working together to ensure every American is informed by the truth, something the Fake News media is unwilling to do."

Last May McCarthy rejected a bipartisan commission deal brokered by Rep. John Katko of New York, effectively cutting House GOP leaders out of the subsequent investigation being conducted, in part, by Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. Now that the committee is poised to roll out its findings Thursday night at the first of a half-dozen planned public hearings, House Republicans likely to come up during nightly news recaps of those discussions are preemptively trying to pick the whole thing apart.

McCarthy, for instance, latched onto recent news reports that the committee had tapped former ABC News executive James Goldston to produce the initial public hearing.

—Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) June 6, 2022


"The Democrats have turned to the former ABC News exec, under whose leadership ABC spiked a story on Jeffrey Epstein, to choreograph their Jan 6 political theatre," McCarthy wrote on Twitter, resurfacing a letter he sent Goldston in 2019 questioning the network's coverage of alleged sex trafficker the late Jeffrey Epstein.

Rep. Jordan followed suit, billing Goldston's hiring and the committee's ongoing work as "all politics."

Subpoenaed colleague Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania upped the ante a bit, calling the committee a "kangaroo court" and portraying Goldston as a huckster.

—RepScottPerry (@RepScottPerry) June 6, 2022


"Guess every carnival needs a barker," Perry wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee tried a different angle, railing against potential changes to the Electoral College system committee members are reportedly still chewing on.

"Democrats are using the J6 committee to abolish the Electoral College. They will do anything to manipulate elections to give Dems an unfair advantage on Election Day. Shameful!," Banks wrote on Twitter.

The most low-key response so far has come from culture war enthusiast Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who appears to be betting that the confluence of current crises and old grudges will drown out fresh outrage about January 6.

—Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) June 6, 2022



"Dems think people care about J6 after Dems caused violent riots w/ $2+ B in damage all over the US in '20. Yeah. Dig that hole deeper," Greene wrote on Twitter.

Read the original article on Business Insider