House Republicans, enraged that five of their own were subpoenaed by the select committee on January 6, are plotting their own retaliation if they reclaim the majority: Subpoenaing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other prominent Democrats.
Several rank-and-file Republicans, possible committee chairmen, and members of the party leadership told CNN on Friday that the subpoenas served on House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other Republicans on January 6 set a new precedent that they may choose to emulate in a future GOP majority.
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Pelosi is at the top of the list, with Republicans threatening to attack her for her security communications in the weeks leading up to January 6 and during the Capitol incident. When asked if Republicans should submit a subpoena against Pelosi, Rep. Buddy Carter, a Georgia Republican, answered, “I’m going to tell you the truth: Yes, I do.”
“This is creating a precedent, and we’re not going to lie down and take it. There are substantial concerns regarding her role on January 6, as well as what she did and did not do. And we need to figure out what’s going on.”
Several other Republicans stated on Friday that going after Pelosi had widespread backing inside the Republican Party. “I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s a subpoena there,” said Florida Republican Rep. Brian Mast. Pelosi retaliated. On Friday, the speaker told CNN, “I’m never frightened of precedent.” “We’re looking for the truth, and we’re not going to back down.”
The back-and-forth is the latest sign of the sour relations that have plagued the chamber since the Capitol insurgency, with Democrats claiming that their investigation is focused on identifying the source of an attack on American democracy and Republicans eager to shift blame away from former President Donald Trump and his supporters.
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Rank-and-file Democrats have refused to engage with Republicans who voted to reverse the election results after the attack. McCarthy and Pelosi have an obvious dislike for each other. Tensions have risen on the House floor, including a tense exchange between McCarthy and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Thursday. McCarthy and Hoyer are normally friendly.
“I was talking to him about seeing if we could address this situation,” Hoyer explained, alluding to a problem on the floor. “And he stated that he had no intention of resolving any issues.”
Pelosi’s tough tactics in the majority, such as taking unprecedented steps to remove two controversial Republicans from committee assignments, will almost certainly be replicated under McCarthy, who has already promised to remove several prominent Democrats from committee assignments next year.
Now, with the committee seeking information from five Republicans — McCarthy, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, and Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry — about their conversations with Trump around the time of the Capitol attack, GOP lawmakers are indicating they will not be shy to respond in kind.
Pelosi does not have supervision over the Capitol Police’s day-to-day operations, but Republicans have focused on her participation that day as they try to construct a counter-narrative about the tragic attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters, as well as Trump’s role.
Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill claimed Friday that “many independent fact checkers have established that Speaker Pelosi did not arrange her own assassination.” “Putting aside the previous President’s desperate claims, the speaker was no more in command of Capitol security that day than Mitch McConnell.”
Republicans, on the other hand, believe Pelosi should be the emphasis moving forward. Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, a Republican who was rejected by Pelosi as one of McCarthy’s nominees for the panel, said the select committee should summon the speaker on January 6 to testify about security preparations and failings.
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the only person in the US who has kept anything about January 6 hidden. So that’s the person they should summon “Banks said to reporters. “She ought to be first on the list.” Banks, the chairman of the hardline Republican Study Committee, refused to say if Republicans should take such a move if they gain control. “On that, I’ll defer to our commander,” Banks added.
McCarthy declined to comment on the topic when questioned about it on Friday. Banks and Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, the senior Republican on the House Administration Committee, have been quietly working on their own inquiry into the January 6 security lapses. They’ve been attempting to obtain emails from the House’s Sergeant at Arms regarding the decision-making process that led to that day, as well as other topics. Davis recently informed CNN that if elected chairman, he would have no qualms about issuing subpoenas to obtain material for their investigation, whether it be records or testimony.