According to a report from the Washington Post, Democrats on the House select committee investigating the Jan 6th insurrection, that forced lawmakers to flee for their lives, are planning on issuing subpoenas very soon and are weighing which of their GOP counterparts they want to testify about their involvement or interactions with the president that day.
As the report notes, the Democrats are treading in uncharted territory that could be seen as partisan politics in their efforts to find out the truth, and any Republican called would likely not go down without a fight, with former House counsel Steve Brand stating, "I don't recall a case where members of Congress were subpoenaed to an oversight hearing."
The Post reports that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) -- who has vociferously opposed the committee and tried to stock it with partisan Donald Trump supporters -- would be a likely target.
And he is not the only one.
"House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) have been the recent subject of questions about which members could be called to appear before the select committee," the report states. "Earlier this year, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) described what McCarthy told her about a phone call he had with Trump on Jan. 6 in which he asked the president to help calm his supporters who had broken into the Capitol."
The report adds, "Other lawmakers who could be of interest to the panel include Rep. Greg Pence (R-Ind.), former vice president Mike Pence's older brother who was with him that day, and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who participated in the same rally as Trump on Jan. 6. Across the Capitol, Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) also spoke to Trump. The president accidentally called Lee looking for Tuberville, who spoke with Trump for several minutes after being passed the phone by Lee and before the senators were evacuated from the chamber. Lawmakers who spoke with the vice president or White House officials could also be potential targets."
At issue would be how to compel them to appear and how long the Republicans can draw out their legal battle by using the courts -- a well-known tactic employed by former president Trump for four years
"The committee could also potentially have to rely on a vote of the full House to compel any testimony, which could be difficult if any Democratic members balk at the idea given the party's slim majority," the Post reports before adding, "Some Hill aides have speculated that whether a member has to testify could wind up being an issue for the Ethics Committee, while acknowledging that too would be unchartered territory."
According to Brand, "The House rules say that members shall reflect credibly on the House. I'm sure that somebody could formulate a theory that says you're duty bound to respond to a subpoena."
One Republican House member admitted that, if a court so orders, the House member in question has no choice but to comply.
"So far, most rank-and-file House Republicans have taken a wait-and-see approach regarding the issue of their colleagues appearing before the Jan. 6 panel," the report states. "Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) said that while it's 'appropriate' for members to question whether a subpoena is justified, 'if the court orders you to testify, I think you've got to follow a court order.'"
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