The chair and vice chair of the January 6 select committee released a statement Saturday claiming House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is spreading misinformation when saying former President Donald Trump was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Justice Department.
Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) — whom House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) placed on the committee in an attempt to counter accusations the committee was partisan — stated the minority leader’s claims are “baseless” and “misinformation.” Thompson and Cheney claim to have received reports to refute McCarthy without citing any evidence:
Minority Leader McCarthy has recently made statements regarding the January 6th investigation. He has suggested, based on an anonymous report, that the Department of Justice has concluded that Donald Trump did not cause, incite, or provoke the violence on January 6th. When this anonymous report was first published, the Select Committee queried the Executive Branch agencies and congressional committees involved in the investigation. We’ve received answers and briefings from the relevant entities, and it’s been made clear to us that reports of such a conclusion are baseless. We will continue to pursue all elements of this investigation in a nonpartisan and thorough manner. We also remind Minority Leader McCarthy of his statements following January 6th, including his statement from the House Floor on January 13th—which are inconsistent with his recent comments.
Their statement comes after McCarthy appeared on KGET, a local news affiliate of NBC in his district, talking about a report from Reuters that said the FBI found “scant evidence” that January 6 was coordinated:
The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result, according to four current and former law enforcement officials.
Though federal officials have arrested more than 570 alleged participants, the FBI at this point believes the violence was not centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters of then-President Donald Trump, according to the sources, who have been either directly involved in or briefed regularly on the wide-ranging investigations.
Last week, McCarthy responded to the committee’s request for telecommunication companies to provide the private communications of people the committee associates with January 6, saying the committee was trying to turn every private company into a “surveillance state run by Democrat politicians.”
McCarthy claimed that if the companies turn over information, the “Republican majority will not forget and will stand with Americans to hold them fully accountable under the law.”
Follow Jacob Bliss on Twitter @jacobmbliss.