A handful of Republicans who remained in the Jan. 6 committee’s sights throughout its investigation are now leading the effort to deny Kevin McCarthy the speakership — using their power to bring the House to a standstill.
During its last days of existence, the Capitol riot panel unleashed a massive trove of evidence with an unmistakable conclusion: At every stage of former President Donald Trump’s bid to overturn the 2020 election results, a phalanx of hardline GOP lawmakers were egging him on. The committee’s latest material, including 250 witness transcripts, often portrayed those House Republicans as drivers, enablers and even architects of Trump’s Jan. 6 scheme.
And several conservatives currently standing against Kevin McCarthy’s bid for the top gavel, including House Freedom Caucus Chair Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), were among the handful of true believers in Trump’s efforts.
“There are some members who clearly have a track record opposing democratic norms,” select panel member Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) said, when asked about the nexus between McCarthy dissenters and Jan. 6. “And I think it’s pretty clear if you read [former White House chief of staff] Mark Meadows’ text messages and the January 6 report who exactly we’re talking about.”
But they weren’t the only congressional Republicans who took consequential actions as the Capitol hurtled toward what became a violent siege by his supporters two years ago.
Others took a more nuanced tack, countenancing Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud while working to substantiate them and also pushing back against the most extreme impulses of his inner circle. Still more Republicans mounted a quiet resistance to Trump’s gambit, lobbying to contain the damage while doing little to publicly signal their disapproval. [Continue reading…]