Kevin McCarthy Rebuffs 1/6 Committee's Request for Information About Talks With Trump

The House panel that is currently investigating the January 6 Capitol riots are asking House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to provide records of critical communication between him and former President Donald Trump.

McCarthy was formally requested to provide the nine-member panel with text messages sent between him and Trump in the days leading up to the riots. Chairman Representative Bennie Thompson requested the messages in a letter addressed to McCarthy.

"We also must learn about how the President's plans for January 6th came together, and all the other ways he attempted to alter the results of the election," wrote Thompson.

McCarthy announced Wednesday night he will not cooperate with the committee's request.

The request sent to McCarthy specifically asks to see messages sent between him and Trump "before, during and after" the riots on January 6. One specific example was requested by Thompson in his letter, with McCarthy allegedly telling Trump and former chief of staff Mark Meadows that objections to the electoral vote certification were "doomed to fail."

The House committee has already received significant amounts of information in the form of collected material. Around 35,000 pages of records, including phone records and text messages, have been made available to the committee. Despite some high-profile defiance, around 90 percent of all those subpoenaed by the committee have cooperated, with McCarthy looking to cooperate as well.

McCarthy and McConnell
The committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riots have requested text messages sent between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and former president Donald Trump. Pictured, McCarthy (R-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) attend the memorial ceremony for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as he lies in state in the US Capitol Rotunda January 12, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The committee acknowledged the sensitive and unusual nature of its request as it proposed a meeting with McCarthy on either Feb. 3 or 4. "The Select Committee has tremendous respect for the prerogatives of Congress and the privacy of its Members," Thompson wrote. "At the same time, we have a solemn responsibility to investigate fully the facts and circumstances of these events.

A request for comment from McCarthy's office was not immediately returned.

McCarthy attracted the committee's attention through his public characterizations of his private discussions with Trump after the riot. Thompson's letter cites multiple statements and interviews in which McCarthy described his interactions with the president, including a CBS interview in which McCarthy said: "I was very clear with the President when I called him. This has to stop and he has to go to the American public and tell them to stop this."

One of his Republican colleagues, Washington Representative Jaime Herrera Butler, has said McCarthy told her that Trump told him, "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."

The Republican leader is the third member of Congress the committee has reached out to for voluntary information. In the past few weeks, GOP Representatives Jim Jordan and Scott Perry were also contacted by the panel but have denied the requests to sit down with lawmakers or provide documents.

The panel, comprised of seven Democrats and two Republicans, has already interviewed more than 300 people and issued subpoenas to more than 40 as it seeks to create a comprehensive record of the Jan. 6 attack and the events leading up to it.

Lawmakers said they have been effective at gathering information from other sources in part because they share a unity of purpose rarely seen in a congressional investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Update 1/12/22 9:26 PM ET - This story and headline have been updated with McCarthy's statement.

Trump and McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is being subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riots for messages he had sent to former President Donald Trump before, during, and after the riots. Pictured, McCarthy and Trump attend a signing ceremony for H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, in the Oval Office of the White House on April 24, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Pool/The New York Times via Getty Images