House Republicans, furious that five of their own were subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 select committee, are weighing their own retaliatory plans if they regain the majority: issuing subpoenas to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats.
Several rank-and-file Republicans, believed to be committee chairs and members of the party leadership, told CNN on July 8th that the Jan. 6 panel’s subpoenas to House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and four other Republicans set a new standard that they could ultimately opt to replicate in a potential GOP majority in the next Congress.
Leading the list: Pelosi, whom Republicans have indicated they intend to target for her communications about security issues in the run-up to Jan. 6 and as the riot unfolded on Capitol Hill.
On July 8th, Several other Republicans said that there was broad support within the conference to go after Pelosi.
Pelosi fired back. “I’m never afraid of precedent,” the speaker told CNN on July 8th. “We’re seeking the truth, and we’re not going to be cowards about it.”
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The back-and-forth is the latest sign of the toxic relationship that has plagued the chamber since the Capitol Hill insurgency, with Democrats saying their investigation is focused on the roots of an attack on American democracy and Republicans keen to shift the blame, from former President Donald Trump and his supporters.
Since the attack, rank and file Democrats have declined to work with Republicans who voted to overturn the election results. The level of disdain between Pelosi and McCarthy is palpable.
Moreover, the hardball tactics of Pelosi in the majority will surely be replicated under a Speaker McCarthy, who has already promised to remove committee assignments from several top Democrats next year.
Now, with the committee looking for information from five Republicans – McCarthy, Representatives Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks and Scott Perry – about their conversations with Trump at the time of the Capitol attack, GOP lawmakers are signaling they won’t hesitate to respond in kind.
Pelosi does not oversee the day-to-day operations of the Capitol Police, but Republicans have focused on her role that day as they attempt to build a counter-narrative about the deadly attack on the Capitol caused by Trump supporters and the role Trump played.
“Numerous independent fact checkers have confirmed that Speaker Pelosi did not plan her own assassination,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said. “The former President’s desperate lies aside, the speaker was no more in charge of the security of the U.S. Capitol that day than Mitch McConnell.”
Still, Republicans say Pelosi should be the focus in the future.
Banks and Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, have been working behind the scenes on their own investigation focused on the Jan. 6 security breaches.
Davis recently told CNN that if he became chairman, he wouldn’t mind issuing subpoenas to obtain information for their investigation, whether it be for documents or testimony.
On July 8th, a number of Democrats stated that they were not worried about Republicans adopting a similar tactic if they took over. Others said that if Republicans chose to ignore the subpoenas from the Jan. 6 panel, they would be setting their own precedent that Democrats could choose to follow.