An 11-page letter from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s lawyer called into question the legitimacy of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
The letter, delivered by attorney Elliot S. Berke on Friday, was in response to a subpoena by the select committee against the head California Republican.
“When Congress’s power of inquiry is justified as an adjunct to the legislative process, it is subject to several limitations. Among those is the requirement that a committee have a valid legislative purpose,” Berke wrote.
“Unfortunately, the words and actions of the Select Committee and its members have made it clear that it is not exercising a valid or lawful use of Congress’s subpoena power,” he added.
The attorney then requested the select committee to provide a list of topics and copies of documents that it intends to discuss with McCarthy.
Berke also criticized ranking member Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who was ousted as Republican House Conference chair last summer after frequently butting heads with the party over former President Donald Trump. Cheney also voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 riot.
The committee first subpoenaed McCarthy on May 12 along with four other Republican leaders: Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Mo Brooks of Alabama. The panel had previously requested voluntary interviews with the members.
Earlier this week, Jordan responded to the committee with a similar letter to McCarthy – asking select committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., for information on documents and communications the committee has related to him.
“Because your subpoena is an unprecedented use of a committee’s compulsory authority against another member,” Jordan wrote, “I respectfully ask for the following material so that I may adequately further respond to your subpoena.”
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