In its Wednesday letter requesting testimony from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection took note of how the Minority Leader’s stance on Trump’s role in the insurrection “shifted over time, eventually becoming much more favorable to the former president,” and they’d like to know why he’s changed his mind.
The committee’s letter to McCarthy reminds him that his change of heart appeared to happen right after visiting Trump at Mar-a-Lago on January 26th, before asking point-blank whether the meeting had any bearing on his reversal. “Your public statements regarding January 6th have changed markedly since you met with Trump,” committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) wrote in the letter to McCarthy. “At that meeting, or at any other time, did President Trump or his representatives discuss or suggest what you should say publicly, during the impeachment trial (if called as a witness), or in any later investigation about your conversations with him on January 6th?”McCarthy denied that he had any such conversation with Trump in an interview with Fox News last April. However, he also acknowledged that “if” such a conversation had occurred between him and Trump, it would constitute witness tampering. A few weeks later, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who serves as vice chair of the committee, appeared on Fox News and confirmed that McCarthy’s meeting with Trump raised questions of witness tampering, without providing any detail.
Let's be clear: Kevin McCarthy's refusal to testify to the 1/6 committee may be helping cover up possible Trump crimes.
McCarthy can likely detail whether Trump saw the riot as a means to obstruct the electoral count — an official proceeding.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) January 13, 2022
According to a new report in the Washington Post, Trump has a history of borderline witness tampering, adding that McCarthy isn’t the only Republican “to adjust his Jan. 6 commentary in a more Trump-friendly direction.”
Can @GOPLeader McCarthy finally answer my question on today of all days???
Why did you oppose the Bipartisan #January6th Commission after an insurrection mob stormed the Capitol and the defeated former President blew you off on the phone??!?!?
— Grant Stern is boosted! (@grantstern) January 6, 2022
McCarthy famously called Trump in a panic on January 6th as rioters attempted to break the glass of his office windows, begging Trump to call them off. Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA), who was standing next to McCarthy in his office as he made the call, testified on the House floor that Trump replied, “Well Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”