Washington Post editorial board slams Kevin McCarthy

Washington Post editorial board slams Kevin McCarthy
Office of the House Republican Leader (2019), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Washington Post editorial is torching House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) amid his refusal to cooperate with the House Select Committee as it continues its investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection.

On Thursday, January 13, the editorial board called for McCarthy to be subpoenaed as it explained why it is justifiable. "Subpoenaing Mr. McCarthy is more than justified; indeed, the minority leader is such an important witness, it would be a poor investigation if the committee failed to compel his testimony," the board wrote.

While the board did acknowledge how unprecedented it would be to subpoena the high-ranking Republican lawmaker, the op-ed slams McCarthy for failing to do his job.

"Subpoenaing the minority leader would be unprecedented, but his behavior amounts to a dereliction of his oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. In his quest to become the next GOP House speaker, Mr. McCarthy has instead thrown in his lot with the enemies of democracy."

The board recalled Trump's brief discussion with him the day of the Capitol breach. The highlights of McCarthy's conversation with Trump suggest he has pertinent knowledge that could move the investigation forward.

"Mr. McCarthy likely has direct knowledge of then-president Donald Trump’s state of mind on and around Jan. 6, as well as details of Mr. Trump’s weeks-long effort before the attack to overturn the 2020 election results," the editorial board wrote. "Indeed, the minority leader spoke with Mr. Trump during the riot, and reports suggest that Mr. Trump ignored Mr. McCarthy’s pleas for help."

“Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump reportedly said.

However, the board highlighted one clear politically-motivated reason why McCarthy may be holding back. "It is doubtful that Mr. McCarthy’s testimony would be flattering to Mr. Trump, which might jeopardize the minority leader’s chances of becoming speaker, should Republicans regain their House majority this fall."

The op-ed went on to outline McCarthy's contradictory past and how Republicans approached the Benghazi case requiring former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to complete the same investigative process he is refusing to adhere to now.

"This is the man who boasted in 2015 that House Republicans had employed their Benghazi investigation to wound Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton — who, by the way, testified voluntarily for 11 hours before the GOP’s show trial, which produced no evidence of wrongdoing by the then-secretary of state in connection with the 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya that killed four Americans," the editorial board wrote.

But despite his actions, the board is confident the Jan. 6 investigation is a viable way to document an attempted coup sphereheaded by a sitting president.

"The Jan. 6 probe, by contrast, is of vastly more consequence. It represents the country’s best chance to compile an authoritative account of how and why a sitting president tried to overturn a free and fair election and, when he failed, spurred a mob to attack Congress as it counted electoral college votes," the board wrote. "This review is indispensable not only for history but also to bolster the nation’s democratic procedures against another attempt to subvert them, which could come as early as 2024."

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