WASHINGTON – Aside from recommending the Justice Department prosecute Donald Trump, the House committee investigating the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021 recommended House Ethics Committee inquiries for four Republican lawmakers who defied the panel’s subpoenas.
The move is provocative because the list includes Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, who is in line to become the next speaker in January, and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the incoming chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Each of the lawmakers called the committee illegitimate for how it was organized and partisan.
But the committee of seven Democrats and two Republicans said the lawmakers were targeted for ethics complaints because they communicated with former President Donald Trump and knew of his efforts to remain in power despite the results of the 2020 election.
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“To be clear, this referral is only for failure to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas,” the investigative committee said. “The Rules of the House of Representatives make clear that their willful noncompliance violates multiple standards of conduct and subjects them to discipline.”
The Ethics Committee can recommend discipline ranging from fines to expulsion for the full House to vote on when members violate rules. But the six-member panel is divided equally between the parties, so it is frequently stymied in partisan disputes.
Here is a summary of the committee’s non-binding recommendations:
Who was referred to House Ethics Committee?
The list of lawmakers referred to the House Ethics Committee is:
- McCarthy communicated with Trump before, during and after the riot. On the House floor, McCarthy called on Trump to “accept his share of responsibility” for the violence. But McCarthy’s lawyer responded to the subpoena with an 11-page letter calling the committee illegitimate because of how it was organized, although federal courts have upheld subpoenas from the panel.
- Jordan spoke with Trump at least twice on Jan. 6, according to the committee. Jordan also received five calls that day from Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, the committee said. Jordan led a conference call with other lawmakers Jan. 2, 2021, discussing strategies for delaying the Electoral College vote count, the committee said.
- Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, who introduced Trump to Jeffrey Clark, the former Justice Department official Trump considered installing as attorney general to pursue baseless claims of election fraud. Perry also exchanged numerous text messages with Meadows about election fraud leading up to Jan. 6.
- Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona attended White House meetings, including one Dec. 21, 2020, to plan for Jan. 6. He texted former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows as early as Nov. 6, 2020, urging him to “encourage the state legislatures to appoint” electors, the committee said.
Who wasn’t included?
The committee subpoenaed a fifth House Republican, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, who wasn’t referred to the Ethics Committee because he gave up his seat to run for Senate – and lost.
Brooks spoke at Trump’s rally on Jan. 6 and said in a local television interview Trump “asked me to rescind the election of 2020.” But Brooks ran for Senate and is no longer serving in the House so no longer under the jurisdiction of the Ethics Committee.
Story Credit: usatoday.com