Washington, Jan 13 (IANS): US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has rejected a request from the chamber's Capitol riot probe committee seeking his cooperation in the ongoing investigation.
The rejection from McCarthy, the top Republican in the House, came just hours after the panel sent a letter notifying him of an intention to interview him and acquire records in his possession related to the deadly attack on January 6, 2021, reports Xinhua news agency.
"This committee is not conducting a legitimate investigation," McCarthy said in a statement, citing the fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has rejected his nominees to serve on the committee as the reason for the illegitimacy of the probe.
He said the committee "is not serving any legislative purpose," and that the "only objective" of the committee's investigation is "to attempt to damage its political opponents".
In the letter to McCarthy, Chair Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, said the committee wanted the congressman to share information about his communications with then-President Donald Trump "before, during and after" January 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump's supporters besieged the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election results.
It also wanted to learn about how McCarthy interacted with Trump, White House staff and others in the week after the riot, "particularly regarding President Trump's state of mind at that time".
McCarthy, a Republican of California, said he has "nothing else to add".
Considered one of Trump's most loyal allies in Congress, McCarthy is the third Republican member of the House with whom the committee has sought cooperation on a voluntary basis, after two similar requests were turned down by representatives Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Jim Jordan of Ohio.