McCarthy to meet with Trump before selecting members for Capitol riot committee

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The House select committee will probe the origins of the deadly Jan 6 insurrection at the Capitol and make recommendations on how to prevent future attacks.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is meeting with former President Donald Trump on Thursday at Trump's New Jersey golf club, ahead of McCarthy's announcement about which GOP lawmakers — if any — he plans to appoint to a House select committee to probe the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Trump announced the meeting in a statement on Thursday morning, writing, "Kevin McCarthy will be meeting with me this afternoon at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J. Much to discuss!"

McCarthy has so far been mum about whether he'll appoint anyone to the select committee, and if he does, who those members are.

He's panned the committee, calling it overly "partisan" — even though Democrats moved to create the select committee only after Senate Republicans blocked an independent, bipartisan outside commission to probe the attack.

While McCarthy has come out in opposition to the select committee's structure, Democrats like to point out it's virtually identical to the select committee on the attack on an American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that Republicans spent years and millions of dollars on.

McCarthy at one point even admitted that the Benghazi probe was a partisan endeavor intended to damage then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Trump has also opposed the creation of any investigative committees because he thinks they're a "trap" for Republicans.

"Republicans in the House and Senate should not approve the Democrat trap of the January 6 Commission," Trump said in a statement in March. "It is just more partisan unfairness."

To be sure, even GOP Rep. Liz Cheney said probes into the Jan. 6 attack could be bad for her party, as the findings could expose some Republican lawmakers for being complicit in the insurrection.

Cheney, who was ousted from her leadership role over her vocal criticism of Trump's incitement of the Jan. 6 attack, was one of just two Republican House members to vote in favor of the select committee. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used one of her spots to appoint Cheney to the investigative body.

While it's unclear who McCarthy will nominate, Punchbowl News listed off 10 potential McCarthy picks — more than half of whom voted to overturn the results of the election when Congress met on Jan. 6 to certify the results of the Electoral College.

Pelosi, who has the power to overrule McCarthy's appointments, already suggested she wouldn't hesitate to veto McCarthy's picks.

What's more, few Republicans have expressed any desire to serve on the select committee.

Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) have said they would like to sit on the committee in order to protect Trump.

However, Greene was already removed from her House committees over her support for violence against Democratic lawmakers, as well as past antisemitic and other bigoted comments she's made. Gaetz is under federal investigation for alleged child sex trafficking. That makes both of them unlikely to sit on the committee.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), who is chairing the select committee, has set the first hearing for July 27. He said the hearing will take place whether or not McCarthy has appointed members by then.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.