Democratic Congressman Suggests Kevin McCarthy Is 'Afraid of Donald Trump'

Congressman Jim McGovern said House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy may be a coward who is afraid of former President Donald Trump after he voted against plans to create an independent commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol riot.

In an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday, Rep. McGovern (D-MA) said McCarthy (R-CA) had got "basically everything he wanted" in the proposals for the independent commission, noting that its members would be made up evenly of Republicans and Democrats.

The aim of the commission would be to review the events that led to the deadly attack on Congress, any intelligence failures and how the government responded. The House backed setting up a commission on Wednesday in a 252-175 vote that saw 35 Republican lawmakers break with their party to back the probe.

Speaking to All In With Chris Hayes, McGovern said: "Kevin McCarthy got basically everything he wanted. He sent a letter to Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi talking about his demands, including an equal representation of Democrats and Republicans on the commission. He got it, he got everything.

"And yet he walked away. So he's either a worse negotiator than Donald Trump, getting everything he wants and then walking away, or he's a coward. He's afraid of Donald Trump. Donald Trump does not want the truth to be known, and does not want this commission to move forward."

The bulk of the Republican caucus voted against the planned probe, characterizing it as a potential attack on Trump and the GOP itself.

House Minority Leader McCarthy denied covering up for the insurrectionists in a Fox News interview, noting that several investigations were ongoing following hundreds of arrests.

"The Department of Justice already has arrested 445 people with approximately another 100 arrests to come," he told the network. "This would just get in the way of that. You'd have two investigations going on in Senate committees."

Newsweek has contacted Rep. McCarthy's office for further comment.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, one of the Republican lawmakers who voted in favor of the commission, praised the House vote on Wednesday and urged the Senate to pass the bill.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday that he was opposed to the commission, meaning that Democrats are unlikely to find the 10 GOP votes they need to pass the bill in the upper chamber.

Releasing a statement ahead of the vote, former President Trump called the commission proposals a "Democrat trap" as he urged GOP lawmakers to slap down the plans.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy with Reporters
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) speaks with reporters after voting against the Capitol riots commission on May 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images