House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced Wednesday that he would not cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee’s request to discuss (among other things) McCarthy’s conversation with former President Donald Trump while the attack was being carried out.
This GOP has put defending its beloved Donald Trump — and potential political gains in the 2022 midterm election — over finding out the truth about Jan. 6.
He joins fellow Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and former GOP Rep. Mark Meadows in refusing to comply.
McCarthy, Jordan and Meadows have a few other things in common: Besides having all refused to cooperate fully with the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation into the attack on our Capitol, they all played roles in politically weaponizing the Benghazi investigation, which went on for nearly four years, from the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, until June 2016. Yet these same Republicans — without a hint of irony — now claim that the Jan. 6 committee’s work is “partisan” and “political” and are suggesting in essence that it’s time for us to simply move on.
GOP hypocrisy is nothing new. But my (naive) hope was that when it came to the Jan. 6 act of domestic terrorism waged on our Capitol, an act that caused even Republican members of Congress to flee for their lives, they would put America first. But no; this GOP has put defending its beloved Donald Trump — and potential political gains in the 2022 midterm election — over finding out the truth about Jan. 6.
A week after the Jan. 6 attack, McCarthy stood on the House floor and declared that Trump “bears responsibility” for the “attack on Congress by mob rioters.” Since then, however, he has slithered up to Trump, because he needs him — per his own apparent calculations — to win the House this year.
That’s likely to be what’s behind McCarthy’s refusal to cooperate with the committee, per his statement Wednesday claiming that “the committee is not conducting a legitimate investigation” and that the “committee’s only objective is to attempt to damage its political opponents.”
Then there’s Jordan, one of Trump’s fiercest defenders. The Jan. 6 committee had recently asked Jordan to speak with it because, as its members put it, Jordan had “worked directly with President Trump and the Trump legal team to attempt to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election.”
Jordan responded Sunday by letter that he wouldn’t cooperate, writing, “The American people are tired of Democrats’ nonstop investigations and partisan witch hunts.”
The Benghazi committee, of which Jordan was one of the most visible members, carried on for more than two years.
Keep in mind that the Benghazi committee, of which Jordan was one of the most visible members, carried on for more than two years, holding 33 hearings at a cost of more than $7 million. But now, after about six months of the committee’s work, Jordan says Americans are “tired” of it.
Then there’s Meadows, who was Trump’s chief of staff at the time of the Jan. 6 attack. At first, Meadows did partly cooperate with the committee by producing a limited number of documents, but he refused to cooperate further. Meadows even sued the committee, claiming the investigation was, in essence, illegitimate. In response, the House voted last month torefer Meadows to the Justice Department for potential criminal charges. (Still no response yet from the Justice Department.)
Of course, when it came to the Benghazi hearings, which followed the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the CIA compound in that city, McCarthy was enthusiastic in supporting numerous GOP-headed congressional committees — including the Benghazi select committee. During that investigation, he didn’t hesitate to defend the Benghazi committee’s work when people accused it of being political in nature, saying, “This committee was set up for one sole purpose: to find the truth.”
McCarthy admitted in the fall of 2015 that the true goal of the Benghazi committee was political in nature when he appeared on Fox News, where he bragged to Sean Hannity that “everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee.” He excitedly added: “What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.” (These Republicans have to hate Google, because their past hypocrisy is just so easy to find.)
In 2013, Meadows slammed the Obama administration for, in his words, “protecting” political appointees from having to answer questions about the attack. “I will continue, alongside my colleagues, to pursue the truth about Benghazi until we have answers for the American people,” he vowed. Too bad he doesn’t feel the same about the American people when it comes to finding answers about the Jan. 6 attack.
After the Benghazi committee’s work concluded in June 2016, Jordan co-wrote his own report, in which he criticized the Obama administration for failing to cooperate with the investigation, writing: “We make note of the disappointing fact that the administration did not cooperate with our committee’s investigation from the very beginning. In fact, they obstructed our work from day one.”
In 2015, Jordan co-wrote an op-ed commenting on an investigation into Obama’s IRS, in which he called for IRS commissioner John Koskinen to resign because he “has failed the American people by frustrating Congress’s attempts to ascertain the truth.” But when it comes to the Jan. 6 attack, Jordan has no qualms about “frustrating Congress’s attempts to ascertain the truth.”
After the 9/11 terrorist attack, Republicans united with Democrats to find out the truth and to protect our country from future such attacks. That GOP is dead. In its place is a Republican Party that has chosen to block an investigation into a terrorist attack incited by its leader, Trump, because it fears it will be hurt politically. This GOP hasn’t put America first; it has put political power over all else. This is how democracies die.