The top members of the select committee investigating the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill refuted recent claims by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy that former President Donald Trump has been cleared by the Justice Department of any role in the insurrection.
“(McCarthy) 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,” the statement read. “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.”
The statement by Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson and Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney calls out McCarthy’s comments to KGET-TV this week where he suggested Trump played no role in coordinating the insurrection.
“That’s where law enforcement comes. The FBI has investigated this. The Senate had bipartisan committees come back. And you know what they’ve found – that there’s no involvement. But this is purely political in how Nancy Pelosi has handled this,” McCarthy, a California Republican, said in the interview with KGET.
McCarthy and many other Republicans have used a report from Reuters that claims the FBI has found “scant evidence” that the January 6 riots were coordinated. CNN has not independently confirmed that report.
The committee making it clear that Trump has not been cleared of any wrongdoing related to January 6 gives a clear indication that the former President and his allies remain a focal point in their investigation.
“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,” the committee’s Saturday statement continued.
A week after the insurrection, McCarthy said on the House floor that, “The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. … He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action by President Trump.”