Kevin McCarthy's 'strategic mistake' on the Jan 6th committee is about to blow up in his face: report
Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

According to a report from NBC News' Scott Wong, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) may soon rue the day he pulled GOP lawmakers off the House select committee investigating the Jan 6th insurrection because Democrats objected to some of his choices to be seated.

Now, with the committee reportedly having enough evidence to ask for a criminal referral on Donald Trump, the report notes televised public hearings are set for this summer and McCarthy has no one on the committee who can push back on behalf of the former president.

That, in turn, could hurt Republicans looking to make major gains in the midterm elections where they are expected to take back the House and elevate McCarthy --barring a revolt by the House's far-right wing led by Rep. Marjorie Talor Greene (R-GA) -- to House Speaker.

As Wong points out, McCarthy took a "gamble" that looks like it won't go his way although he doesn't see it that way.

Speaking with NBC, McCarthy claimed, "This is nothing but a political show. They already have the report written and they’re trying to create a narrative for it instead of trying to get to the truth.”

However, his accusation won't negate the spectacle of Jan 6th witnesses speaking under oath to lawmakers about the riot while the country watches.

"Unlike the first Trump impeachment hearings in 2019, loyalists of the former president will not be in a position to 'run interference,' in the words of one GOP source, during the Jan. 6 panel proceedings. Specifically, they won’t be able to aggressively cross-examine witnesses, rebut or interrupt Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and other Democrats, or introduce their own evidence," the report states. "Instead, the hearings will be tightly controlled and well-choreographed, focusing on areas like the plot to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory; intelligence and security breakdowns related to the attack; and what former President Donald Trump and his inner circle were doing during the hourslong riot that claimed several lives."

Before the hearings even begin, fellow Republicans are sniping at McCarthy for making a huge mistake.

A senior House GOP aide lamented, "I would say it’s absolutely a strategic mistake. You’re going to have a united front, you’re not going to have a sideshow."

The aide continued, "One of the reasons Democrats’ impeachment hearings failed so spectacularly in 2019 was because you had [GOP Reps.] Elise Stefanik and Jim Jordan and Doug Collins and Mike Turner — all of them running interference because they were sitting on the panels. And they were able to push back on whatever Democrats were trying to press Gordon Sondland and Fiona Hill about. They’re not going to have that this time.”

NBC's Wong adds, "McCarthy’s decision to yank his members off the Jan. 6 panel — a response to Speaker Nancy Pelosi blocking two of his picks — means pro-Trump Republicans largely have been left in the dark about what's in store for the public hearings. Other than public reporting, Republicans aren't aware of leads the committee is chasing, what witnesses are saying in the 750 depositions the panel has conducted in private, and what’s in the nearly 90,000 documents received by the panel," with the GOP aide admitting, "That’s an error. If Republicans were on a committee and were able to participate in any of this right now, they could be leaking things, they could be setting their own narratives.”

You can read more here.