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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer signaled Thursday that the chamber could take legal action against Republican members if they fail to comply with a Jan. 6 committee subpoena, as those members report. that they can’t.
The Jan. 6 committee issued subpoenas on Thursday to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Scott Perry, R-Pa., Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Andy Biggs, R-Arizona, and Mo Brooks, R-Ala. The committee said these members “have information relevant to our investigation into the January 6 attack and the events leading up to it.”
“No one is above the law,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told Fox News Digital on Thursday.
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“We will pursue the same actions that we will pursue with anyone else who refuses,” he added when asked about the possibility that Republicans who are targets of subpoenas may not comply. “If you’re ready to tell the truth, why do you care? If you’re not ready to tell the truth, it may worry you.”
The January 6 Committee has been issuing subpoenas for months as it investigates the origins of the violent January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump. But Thursday is the first time he has subpoenaed sitting members of Congress — and the first time a congressional committee has subpoenaed sitting members in US history.
GOP targets in Thursday’s House subpoena are already signaling they are unlikely to voluntarily comply.
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McCarthy told reporters Thursday that the committee was “not conducting a legitimate investigation” and did not answer separate questions about whether he would comply with the subpoena. In an interview on “America Reports,” Biggs also denounced the committee without explicitly saying he would not comply.
“I think the committee is illegitimate. I thought it was like that when it started,” Biggs said. “And they don’t really have the power…to issue subpoenas, in my opinion.”
Jordan also indicated that he may not comply with the subpoena. Perry tweeted that the committee was an “illegitimate body” and called the subpoenas “their latest charade”.
The subpoenas are likely to trigger a lengthy legal battle over whether Republican members must comply. The House could also vote to hold those members in contempt of Congress and refer them to the Justice Department for prosecution.
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With midterms looming and Republicans generally expected to take control of the House, it’s not clear that a legal battle over subpoenas will be resolved by the time the next Congress begins.
But the committee will begin public hearings next month, during which it can weave a narrative about Jan. 6, Trump’s alleged role in it through false allegations that the election was stolen and whether others Republicans are also guilty.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Ryan Kenny contributed to this report.
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