Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy responds to Jan. 6 committee's interview request

He said wrote that "it is with neither regret nor satisfaction that I have concluded to not participate."

Updated: January 12, 2022 - 9:34pm

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) responded to the interview request on Wednesday from the House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol, which he calls "illegitimate."

In a statement hours after the interview request, McCarthy said: "This committee is not conducting a legitimate investigation as Speaker Pelosi took the unprecedented action of rejecting the Republican members I named to serve on the committee. It is not serving any legislative purpose. The committee’s only objective is to attempt to damage its political opponents – acting like the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee one day and the DOJ the next."

McCarthy earlier this month slammed Democrats for using Jan. 6 as a "partisan political weapon to further divide our country."

"The committee has demanded testimony from staffers who applied for First Amendment permits. It has subpoenaed the call records of private citizens and their financial records from banks while demanding secrecy not supported by law," he wrote.

"It has lied about the contents of documents it has received. It has held individuals in contempt of Congress for exercising their Constitutional right to avail themselves of judicial proceedings. And now it wants to interview me about public statements that have been shared with the world, and private conversations not remotely related to the violence that unfolded at the Capitol," he said. "I have nothing else to add."

The committee issued a subpoena to a freelance photojournalist last month for her phone records, and she sued in response, calling it "invasive and sweeping." Former chief of staff to President Donald Trump, Mark Meadows, is also suing in an attempt to stop the panel's subpoena of him and his phone records. 

Rep. Jim Jordan asserted the select committee "took a text message that I had forwarded to the to the White House Chief of Staff and they they completely changed it." He also ripped Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for misrepresenting his Jan. 6 messages. 

McCarthy wrote that "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."

McCarthy is the third sitting Republican lawmaker to be requested for an interview by the committee, after Rep. Scott Perry and Rep. Jim Jordan who both declined to testify.

The committee has voted to hold both Meadows and Trump White House Advisor Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for not cooperating with the Jan. 6 investigation.