House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has been subpoenaed by the January 6 committee.
McCarthy said he's been trading letters with the panel about testifying, but questions remain.
He said that so far he's been "denied the right to participate," but never said he wouldn't.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday morning railed against what he viewed as injustices the January 6 select committee has inflicted on him, Donald Trump, congressional Republicans, and MAGA supporters.
But he stopped short of closing the door to ever cooperating with the ongoing investigation of the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol as it kicks off its public hearing phase.
"I've never said I wouldn't participate," the California Republican told reporters at the US Capitol when pressed about why he's declined to talk to them to date. He added that he's been "denied the right to participate in the investigation" thus far, blaming the communications breakdown on Democratic leaders eager to drag the embattled former president through the mud again in prime time.
McCarthy is one of the Trump allies in Congress that the select committee has subpoenaed to testify, a short list that includes fellow Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and others.
Prior to subpoenaing him, the committee asked McCarthy to voluntarily discuss what he knows about the violent Capitol siege. McCarthy said he's sent the select committee two letters asking for clarification about what, specifically, investigators want him to talk about, and that he hasn't yet received a satisfactory response.
"They answered me but they didn't answer all my questions. So I sent them another letter and they haven't answered that," he said.
Should McCarthy join at some point during the monthlong hearing process the committee has laid out, he'll be lending his voice to what he claims is the legislative branch's worst mistake.
"It is the most political and least legitimate committee in American history," McCarthy said while surrounded by Jordan, House Republican Conference Chairperson Elise Stefanik, House GOP Whip Steve Scalise, and others in the House TV Gallery. "It has permanently damaged the House and divided this country."
The House Republican leaders are preparing their own accounting of what they say happened on and around January 6, in a report to be released at a later date.
McCarthy said their report from the alternative investigation being led by Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana would be done "soon."
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