- The Washington Times
Monday, June 6, 2022

Former President Donald Trump has endorsed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for a ninth term in office, standing behind the California Republican despite leaked audio of Mr. McCarthy suggesting he would ask Mr. Trump to resign following the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Mr. McCarthy, 57, is poised to become House speaker next year if the Republicans regain the majority, which polling and political analysis suggest is very likely.

Mr. Trump praised Mr. McCarthy’s “Commitment to America” platform that would resume work on the southern border wall started during the Trump administration, restart energy projects halted by President Biden, take steps to end Big Tech censorship of conservatives and pass legislation aimed at expanding the economy, among other things.

“Congressman Kevin McCarthy is an outstanding Representative for the people of California, and a strong and fearless Leader of the House Republican Conference,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “Kevin McCarthy has my Complete and Total Endorsement for California’s 20th Congressional District!”

Mr. McCarthy is among several Republicans embroiled in the Democratic-led investigation into the role of Mr. Trump and other GOP lawmakers in the Capitol riot.

The House panel issued subpoenas to several lawmakers, including Mr. McCarthy, seeking information and testimony before the panel.

Mr. McCarthy last month informed the Jan. 6 committee that he did not plan to comply with the subpoena. 

“While Congress maintains a vast and awesome power of constitutional oversight to serve as an important piece of our system of checks and balances and separation of powers, it is undemocratic for a majority party to attempt to use the full force of the federal government to attack perceived political rivals,” Mr. McCarthy’s lawyer, Elliot S. Berke, wrote to the panel. 

The committee, which includes two Republicans, wants to question Mr. McCarthy about his conversations with Mr. Trump before and during the riot. Mr. McCarthy held a tense phone call with Mr. Trump during the riot, asking Mr. Trump to call off the rioters.

The two have remained allies despite the conflict over the riot.

Mr. Trump endorsed other veteran GOP lawmakers on Sunday, including Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Reps. Darrell Issa and Jay Obernolte, both of California.

• Susan Ferrechio can be reached at sferrechio@washingtontimes.com.

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