House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that he will not cooperate with the select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, asserting the panel “is not conducting a legitimate investigation,” the New York Times reports.
New York Times: “Just when it seemed as if the atmosphere on Capitol Hill could not get worse, Omicron came to town. At least 129 House members and senators have announced a coronavirus infection since the outset of the pandemic, nearly a quarter of the lawmakers in Congress. A baker’s dozen announced infections in the last week alone. A mask mandate that has been only fitfully respected by Republicans in the House was turned up a notch to require only N95s and KN95s — and compliance is just as spotty.”
“Social distancing is back; when the body of Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader, lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, chairs were arranged several feet apart. The grand atrium of the Capitol Visitor Center, once filled with tourists, has been reconfigured with stanchions to demarcate the Covid testing line for lawmakers and staff members.”
“Schadenfreude is in full tilt.”
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday appeared before the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, CNN reports.
Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) “compared Covid vaccine mandates to the Holocaust, a statement that was met with swift backlash from Jewish groups,” NBC News reports.
Davidson’s tweet: “Let’s recall that the Nazis dehumanized Jewish people before segregating them, segregated them before imprisoning them, imprisoned them before enslaving them, and enslaved them before massacring them.”
The House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection invited Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to appear before the panel, Politico reports.
New York Times: “The letter to Mr. McCarthy is the committee’s latest attempt to learn more about Mr. Trump’s actions as mob rioters stormed the building for hours on Jan. 6 and his mind-set in the days that followed. It made Mr. McCarthy, a California Republican, the highest-ranking lawmaker the panel has pursued in its inquiry.”
“In particular, the panel said it was interested in a phone call that Mr. McCarthy had with Mr. Trump during the riot.”
Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) announced that he will not run for reelection this year to uphold a past pledge to serve no more than four terms in the House, The Hill reports.
“Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) ex-girlfriend testified Wednesday before a federal grand jury investigating him for sex crimes, a major development that suggests the Department of Justice may be moving closer to indicting him,” NBC News reports.
“The ex-girlfriend, whose name is being withheld by NBC News to respect her privacy, has been in talks for months with prosecutors about an immunity deal. Under a possible deal, she would avoid prosecution for obstruction of justice in return for testifying in the investigation into whether Gaetz in 2017 had sex with a 17-year-old female for money and whether months later he and others violated a federal law prohibiting people for paying for prostitutes overseas.”
“Legal sources familiar with the case say Gaetz is being investigated for three distinct crimes: sex trafficking the 17-year-old; violating the Mann Act, which prohibits taking women across state lines for prostitution; and obstructing justice.”
“No one wants violence and I say all the time I am not a violent person. I hope to never see a Civil War in this country and that’s why you hear me toss around ‘national divorce.’”
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA), on Sebastian Gorka’s podcast.
“The select panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection is homing in on Donald Trump Jr.,” Politico reports.
“The committee issued subpoenas for two close advisers, Andrew Surabian and Arthur Schwartz, to former President Donald Trump’s eldest son on Tuesday, an indication that they’re inching ever closer to the Trump family.”
“The fourth-ranking House Democrat, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA), urged the sergeant-at-arms to force lawmakers who defy the chamber’s mask mandate to cast votes from enclosures in the gallery above to limit potential spread of Covid-19,” The Hill reports.
“Clark said it’s clear that existing fines are not enough to deter certain lawmakers from repeatedly flouting rules requiring everyone to wear masks in the House chamber.”
House Sergeant-at-Arms William Walker says he intends to train “insider threat specialists” to monitor for security officials whose “allegiance has changed,” Politico reports.
Jonathan Bernstein: “What’s most noteworthy about the Democrats who are leaving the House without other electoral plans, however, is that they are as a group extremely old. Murphy is the exception; she will be 44 when the next Congress gavels in on Jan. 3, 2023. But four of the others are in their 80s, with Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas already 86, and all but four would turn at least 70 during their next terms if they stuck around. Even with Murphy, the group will average about 71 years old by January 2023. And the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who is 81, is expected to step down after the election, although she has committed to running for another term.”
“Even in a body as old as the U.S. Congress, this is unusual. The four Republicans who are leaving without running for higher office will be 67, 51, 44, and 38 when the next Congress begins.”
“Democrats may expect to lose their majority, and that could be a factor in the retirements. But the age data suggest something else may be going on as well.”
“House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is considering instituting new limits or an outright ban on lawmakers holding and trading stocks and equities if Republicans take the majority in November,” Punchbowl News reports.
“McCarthy told us his planning on this front is in its early stages, and he hasn’t yet decided on what kind of limitations there may be on stock trades or holdings. One idea would be to force lawmakers to hold only professionally managed mutual funds. Another proposal the GOP leadership is considering would bar lawmakers from holding stocks in companies or industries their committees oversee. Other members have advocated for mandatory blind trusts for lawmakers’ holdings.”
“As the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol rushes to gather evidence and conduct interviews, how far it will be able to go in holding former President Donald Trump accountable increasingly appears to hinge on one possible witness: former Vice President Mike Pence,” the New York Times reports.
“Since the committee was formed last summer, Mr. Pence’s lawyer and the panel have been talking informally about whether he would be willing to speak to investigators… But as Mr. Pence began sorting through a complex calculation about his cooperation, he indicated to the committee that he was undecided.”
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) “announced Monday that he won’t seek reelection in 2022, a decision that is sure to upend Colorado’s political landscape heading into the midterm elections in Nocember,” the Colorado Sun reports.
Politico: “His decision surprises many in his party because he emerged from his state’s redistricting process largely unscathed. His new district would’ve backed President Joe Biden by about 14.5 percentage points in 2020.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Breitbart that if he becomes Speaker, he will move to strip Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from their posts on the House Intelligence Committee, and remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from her spot on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Said McCarthy: “The Democrats have created a new thing where they’re picking and choosing who can be on committees. Never in the history of Congress have you had the majority tell the minority who can be on committee.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a close confidante of former President Donald Trump, said he would not cooperate with a House committee investigating last year’s attack on the Capitol, Reuters reports.
Politico: “Jordan was among the House Republicans who worked most closely with Trump in the run-up to the Jan. 6 session of Congress meant to finalize the 2020 presidential election results. He also has acknowledged speaking with Trump at least once after rioters had overtaken the Capitol.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) told CNN that former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham named “a lot of names” during their phone call about the Capitol riots.
Raskin said she also “identified some lines of inquiry that had never occurred to me.”
He added: “America is going to be shocked and surprised at what we all come to learn this year.”
☑️ Life in the Middle: Marginalized Moderate Senators In the Era of Polarization is available on Amazon. It takes a deep dive into the power of moderates and why we see them behave so precariously.