In an unprecedented move, the House select committee on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has issued subpoenas for five House Republicans, including GOP leader Kevin McCarthy.
All five had previously been asked to appear voluntarily and quickly refused.
In addition to McCarthy, the panel also subpoenaed GOP Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scotty Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama.
The committee did not issue a subpoena for Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas, who also rejected to testify voluntarily but said he was not part of documented text messages from extremist groups to provide him protection on Jan. 6.
“Regrettably, the individuals receiving subpoenas today have refused and we’re forced to take this step to help ensure the committee uncovers facts concerning January 6th,” the panel said in a release Thursday. “We urge our colleagues to comply with the law, do their patriotic duty, and cooperate with our investigation as hundreds of other witnesses have done.”
There is little history of a congressional committee issuing subpoenas for members of Congress. The move now escalates the war between House Republicans opposed to the investigation and the committee.
The panel’s members have wrestled with the decision on whether to issue subpoenas for members for months, and had signaled they may not want to set such a precedent. This has been a concern for them, especially as the House could move into Republican hands next year and the GOP could look to return the favor through their own probes into President Biden’s administration and other Democrats.