As Jan. 6 nears, McCarthy says Democrats using one-year anniversary of riot as 'political weapon'

The GOP House Leader addressed his caucus ahead of the one-year anniversary of 1/6

In a letter to his GOP colleagues sent Sunday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy discussed this week's one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The leader once again condemned the actions of those who broke the law, but also warned that Democrats in Congress will continue to leverage the events as a "partisan political weapon to further divide our country."

The incident in which pro-President Trump supporters and others forced their way into the capitol to try to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election results has over the past 12 months arguably been the most divided political issue on Capitol Hill. A probe led by House Democrats into the incident has dominated much of the chamber's legislative agenda. 

"Our Capitol should never be compromised and those who broke the law deserve to face legal repercussions and full accountability," McCarthy wrote. "Unfortunately, one year later, the majority party seems no closer to answering the central question of how the Capitol was left so unprepared and what must be done to ensure it never happens again. Instead, they are using it as a partisan political weapon to further divide our country."

McCarthy opposes 9/11-style Jan. 6 commission deal

He also says Illinois GOP Rep. Rodney Davis will be sending out a memo to congressional offices on steps that can be taken to protect the Capitol in the future, an effort McCarthy argues "the current majority party is negligent in acting upon."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced a several events this week at the to mark the anniversary of the riot including lawmakers' eyewitness testimonials, a prayer vigil with members of the Senate. However, the House is not in session until next week.

McCarthy's continued criticism of Democrats' handling of the post-January 6 investigation dates back to Pelosi rejecting his five picks to serve on the select committee.

Capitol riot
U.S. Capitol Building riot, Washington, D.C. Jan. 6, 2020.
(Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)


At the time the committee was formed, McCarthy said, "Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts."

Pelosi instead appointed GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming . A faction of the House GOP conference then called upon McCarthy to remove them for their ranks or "egregious actions" on the panel. 

Pelosi responded by calling the panel a "beautiful committee" that is " bipartisan, patriotic, solemn and serious."

McCarthy has repeatedly questioned whether the committee is capable of reaching an unbiased conclusion pertaining to its investigation, and if the panel is really focused on the question of the security failures that left the Capitol vulnerable on January 6, as opposed to a partisan investigation into various members of the Trump administration and their congressional allies.