Former President Donald Trump will meet with Rep. Kevin McCarthy on Thursday as the House minority leader weighs whether to appoint Republicans to the select congressional committee charged with investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Trump announced the meeting, which will take place at Trump’s private golf club in Bedminster, N.J., in a two-sentence statement that did not indicate what would be on the agenda.
“Much to discuss!” Trump wrote.
McCarthy has said that he hasn’t yet decided whether he will make any appointments to the panel authorized last month by the House of Representatives that will probe the attack on Congress by supporters of the former president.
Under the rules creating the commission, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., can name eight members and McCarthy is entitled to name five. Pelosi last week disclosed her picks, which included GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, one of the two Republicans who voted to approve the panel in the first place.
McCarthy on Tuesday criticized Pelosi’s selections, which included two of the leading members of the team that prosecuted Trump’s second impeachment, Reps. Jamie Raskin, D-Md. and Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
“Putting Adam Schiff and Raskin on it looks more like an impeachment committee than one that wants to get to the bottom of the questions that are still out there,” McCarthy told Fox News.
McCarthy added that “I haven’t made a decision yet, even to appoint.”
“I’m discussing it with my members. I have a real concern, the scope of what we’re looking at,” McCarthy said.
A spokesperson for McCarthy did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
Pelosi holds veto power of any selections that McCarthy makes. On Wednesday, the panel said that it will hold its first hearing on July 27.
Trump has made an effort to spin the story of the Jan. 6 riot, during which more than 100 police officers were injured and five people died, including one protester, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot while apparently attempting to infiltrate the House of Representatives through a broken window.
More than 500 people allegedly involved in the riot have already been arrested in connection with an investigation that the Department of Justice has said is unprecedented in complexity.
Speaking on Fox News on Sunday, Trump framed the riot as peaceful.
“These were peaceful people, these were great people,” he told host Maria Bartiromo. “The crowd was unbelievable, and I mentioned the word love, the love in the air, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Trump also criticized law enforcement for Babbitt’s killing, and said he wanted the public to know the identity of the officer who shot her.
“Who is the person that shot an innocent, wonderful, incredible woman, a military woman, right in the head?” Trump said. “There is no repercussion — that were on the other side, it would be the biggest story in this country. Who shot Ashli Babbitt? People want to know and why.”
The Justice Department has said it will not pursue charges against the officer who killed Babbitt, citing a lack of evidence for a criminal charge. The officer’s name has not been disclosed.
Notably, McCarthy and Trump spoke on the phone on Jan. 6 even as the siege on Congress was ongoing. McCarthy has said that he was the first person to contact the then-president about what was happening.
According to a statement released by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., during Trump’s second impeachment trial, McCarthy on that phone call pressed for Trump to call off the riot. In response, Trump “repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol,” according to the statement.
“McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said: ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,'” the statement said.
Herrera Beutler was one of 10 Republicans in the House to vote in favor of Trump’s impeachment.
McCarthy has suggested that he would be willing to tell investigators about the phone call.
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