Select committee chairman Bennie Thompson made the request to Mr McCarthy on Wednesday in a letter asking the California Republican to voluntary provide information to the committee’s probe into “the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6th attack and issues relating thereto”.
“We write to request your voluntary cooperation with our investigation on a range of critical topics, including your conversations with President Trump before, during and after the violent January 6th attack,” Mr Thompson wrote, adding that Mr McCarthy had previously acknowledged having at least one telephone conversation with Mr Trump while a mob of his supporters was storming the Capitol in hopes of stopping Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral college victory.
Mr McCarthy later shared an account of his conversation with a fellow GOP House member, Rep Jamie Herrera Buetler of Washington.
Ms Herrera Beutler later said in a statement that the Republican leader told her Mr Trump initially suggested to Mr McCarthy that the rioters besieging the Capitol were “antifa”. She also recounted how — according to Mr McCarthy — Mr Trump responded to the GOP leader’s report that he mob was made up of his supporters by replying: “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are”.
The Republican leader initially blamed Mr Trump for the violence that day. In a speech delivered from the House floor on 13 January, Mr McCarthy said Mr Trump “should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding” and therefore bore “responsibility” for the attack.