The House committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol issued subpoenas this Thursday to five Republican congressmen, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Congressman Jim Jordan, NBC News reports.
The subpoenas come in the wake of the committee asking the congressmen, also including Scott Perry, Mo Brooks, and Andy Biggs, to sit for voluntary interviews. But all had refused.
The committee says that all five pro-Trump congressmen have information critical to its investigation of the Jan. 6 riot.
According to POLITICO, the subpoenaed lawmakers "are expected to cite the protections of the Constitution’s 'speech or debate' clause, which prohibits lawmakers from being sued for their official government business."
"That could trigger a complex and prolonged legal battle, and it’s unclear whether the select committee would pursue expedited consideration from the courts, which could still take months," POLITICO reports. "The committee is preparing to hold a series of public hearings to lay out its findings next month, and the panel will almost certainly be disbanded next year if Republicans take the House majority."
POLITICO contends that the move "represents a sharp escalation in the select committee’s tactics after months of weighing how aggressively to pursue testimony from their own colleagues."
House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said that she believed this is the first time a House committee had ever subpoenaed a sitting member of Congress in nearly 30 years.
“I’ve never seen it before,” she told NBC News.
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