[guest post by Dana]
Representative Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who is attempting to become the next House speaker, on Wednesday warned the special committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol that members of his party planned to launch an inquiry of their own into the panel’s work next year when Republicans assume control of the chamber.
In a letter sent to the committee’s chairman, Mr. McCarthy instructed the panel to preserve its records — an action already required under House rules — including any recorded transcripts of its more than 1,000 interviews. The missive was the first official indication that newly empowered House Republicans plan not only to end the inquiry at the start of the new Congress, but also to attempt to dismantle and discredit its findings — the latest piece of a broader effort the party has undertaken over the past two years to deny, downplay or shift blame for the deadly attack by a pro-Trump mob.
It comes as Mr. McCarthy toils to shore up his position with hard-right Republicans in his conference who have refused to support his bid for speaker, imperiling his chances of being elected in January.
Mr. McCarthy pledged in the letter that he would hold public hearings scrutinizing the security breakdowns that occurred during the assault, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, disrupting Congress’s formal count of electoral votes to confirm Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s election as president.
Here are the hard-right Republicans who have said they are not voting for McCarthy (who needs their votes):
Rep. Andy Biggs (Arizona)
Rep. Matt Gaetz (Florida)
Rep. Ralph Norman (South Carolina)
Reps. Bob Good of Virginia and Matt Rosendale of Montana have expressed doubts about McCarthy becoming the next speaker as well.
One House Republican said they’re aware of a handful more members who are keeping their opposition private until just before the January vote. And while some of McCarthy’s fiercest public critics have openly claimed that there are about 20 hard nos in the conference, others believe the Californian will likely chip away at his opposition.
McCarthy certainly has his work cut out for him.