Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the house minority, has done it again: he embarrassed himself in the service of the twice accused former President Donald Trump. This time around, he’s officially opposed a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 violent uprising, even after one of his own GOP allies negotiated a compromise deal that should have satisfied most of McCarthy’s previous objections (that’s a Compromise, and when you get most of what you want, you make it).
But deep down, McCarthy only wants to protect Donald Trump and maybe himself. To sum it up again: McCarthy had demanded that each commission have an equal number of Republicans and Democrats (spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi had suggested more Democrats as they control the House, Senate and White House); that members appointed by both parties have subpoena powers (Pelosi’s first proposal appeared to give Democrats a veto power over subpoenas requested by the GOP) and he believes they can investigate other cases of political violence, including Antifa phantoms and Black Lives Matter protesters. Pelosi really said no.
When Fox News’ Chris Wallace found last month that Pelosi had admitted two of three main problems, McCarthy continued to insist, “We had political violence in this country and city over the past year. I think we should look at all of this. “
Then things seemed to get a little interesting. Democrat Bennie Thompson took the lead in drafting commission details, and Republican John Katko became his partner (they are chair and senior member of the Homeland Security Committee). This was widely viewed as a McCarthy-approved move as Katko was a close ally and a member of his whip team. The non-partisan duo reached an agreement on Friday that codified the compromises signaled by Pelosi and a little more (details can be read) Here). The Commission’s focus would be limited to the January attack and the factors that inspired it.
The weekend’s big guessing game included whether McCarthy would support Katko’s proposal. After four days he came out and said noand threw his ally, Jake Sherman from Punchbowl tweeted“Under the bus.” McCarthy continues to insist that the commission investigate not just January 6th but also “interconnected forms of political violence” (whatever that means), while recognizing that Katko “worked hard to improve the bill , but it just isn’t there yet “.
What does this all mean besides what we already knew McCarthy was a Trump toad? TPM’s Josh Marshall may have the best brief analysis Here (even if it is rather cruel to puppies). “McCarthy phoned Trump at the critical moments and asked the then president to do something,” notes Marshall. “McCarthy’s testimony would probably be one of the most revealing of the president’s state of mind and actions. This is a nightmare for McCarthy. Of course, he wants to avoid it.”
McCarthy has discussed his January 6 interview with Trump on several occasions, including Fox News with Wallace. But, as renegade MP Liz Cheney told Wallace on Sunday, McCarthy would be a very important witness in any riot investigation. “He clearly has facts about that day that an investigation into what happened and the President’s actions should get to the bottom of it. And I think he has important information that needs to be part of any investigation, whether it be the FBI, the Justice Department, or the this is the commission I hope will set up. ”
Katko, like Cheney, voted to indict Trump. McCarthy’s move today, as well as his vote to dismiss Cheney from her leadership position last week, proves that Republicans like her and the other eight impeachment supporters are on the very fringes of the party – we can call it the non-mad fringe, but that does it not stronger. The GOP house leader has proven that he is the party of the AOC-stalking gun-studded Marjorie Taylor Greene and is Florida man Matt Gaetz, which is being investigated by the federal government for possible sex crimes and fraud. Anyone who hoped Katko’s compromise signaled the emergence of a more sensible GOP was stripped of that hope on Tuesday. Like pretty much every day that ends with a Y