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Post Politics Now Leader McCarthy, Rep. Greene both have some explaining to do about Jan. 6

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) makes remarks as House Republicans hold a news conference in advance of President Biden's State of the Union address on March 1. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
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Today, the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection looms large in two separate controversies, one involving House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the other focused on freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

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On Thursday night, audio surfaced of McCarthy, during a call with other Republican leaders, pushing the idea that President Donald Trump should resign in the wake of the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol. McCarthy, who is angling to be speaker, earlier had denied a report that he did this. What will Trump have to say? We could find out today.

Greene, meanwhile, is fielding questions about her role leading up to that day during a court hearing in Atlanta where activists are challenging her right to appear on the ballot this year. Early on, Greene declined to say whether unlawfully interfering with the counting of electoral votes in a presidential election would make someone “an enemy of the Constitution.”

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  • 9:30 a.m. Eastern: Greene is scheduled to testify at an administrative hearing on a challenge to her candidacy. Watch live coverage here.
  • 10:30 a.m. Pacific (1:30 p.m. Eastern): President Biden delivered remarks on Earth Day from Seattle, where he signed an executive order on forest management. Watch coverage here.
  • 12:30 p.m. Pacific (3:30 p.m. Eastern): Biden delivers remarks in Auburn, Wash., on lowering health care and energy costs. Watch live coverage here.

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12:27 p.m.
Headshot of Jacqueline Alemany
Congressional Investigations Reporter
Trump Jr. expected to engage with Jan. 6 committee — Donald Trump Jr. has agreed to meet soon with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, a person familiar with the matter confirms.The offer to voluntarily appear by the former president’s eldest son comes amid a raft of appearances from those who are closest to Trump, including his daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump Jr.’s fiance Kimberly Guilfoyle.Donald Trump Jr. sent text messages to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows proposing strategies to overturn the results of the 2020 election and declare his father the winner.“It’s very simple,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote to Meadows the day after the election, as reported by CNN. “We have multiple paths We control them all.” Trump Jr.’s lawyer has said that his client was passing along suggestions from allies involved with the effort to overturn the election results in the aftermath of his loss to Joe Biden.In recent weeks, the committee has spoken with allies and officials in Trump’s immediate orbit. However a number of key holdouts remain, including Meadows and ex-Trump White House aides Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro — all three of whom have been referred to the Justice Department on contempt of Congress charges.
9:39 a.m.
Headshot of Mike DeBonis
Congressional reporter covering the House of Representatives
Why McCarthy could survive — For all the shock the political world felt at hearing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) say out loud that he would counsel President Donald Trump to resign, there’s reason to believe that it may not have been quite so shocking to Trump and his allies. And that could help McCarthy retain his standing atop the House GOP.The two have enjoyed an occasionally rocky but ultimately mutually beneficial relationship since Trump launched his presidential campaign in 2015.McCarthy previously weathered another secret-tape episode in 2017, when The Washington Post published audio of him suggesting, without evidence, in a 2016 leadership meeting that Trump was on the Kremlin payroll. And it was no secret to Trump that McCarthy had qualms about his behavior surrounding Jan. 6.McCarthy, however, played a key role in Trump’s political rehabilitation by visiting him at Mar-a-Lago and declaring him a partner in his quest to regain the House majority in 2022. Since then, the two men have largely avoided public spats while Trump has shown a willingness to overlook past slights for the sake of political expediency.The larger question is, would it benefit Trump to publicly ditch McCarthy now? And it is not clear that it would. The GOP is angling for midterm gains, and McCarthy has helmed a vast apparatus preparing the party for power — raising tens of millions of dollars for GOP candidates and prepping legislative plans for the next Congress. A public break between the two men could inject new chaos into the party at a critical moment.
8:33 a.m.
Headshot of Marianna Sotomayor
Congressional reporter covering the House of Representatives
What will Trump allies have to say about the McCarthy audio? — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will have some explaining to do after leaked audio contradicts his claim that he didn’t want President Donald Trump to resign after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.It’s possible no other group will demand an answer more than the pro-Trump allies in his conference. His quest to become speaker has led him to be deferential to all wings of his conference in the hopes of earning enough support when the day comes. But the “MAGA squad,” made up of Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and others, have long kept mum on whether they would support him as their speaker in the majority.McCarthy has said he would put Greene and Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) back on better committees after Democrats ousted them, a move many colleagues saw as a peace offering.But the group has heavily criticized him since, insinuating he’s a weak leader for allowing Republicans to vote with Democrats on infrastructure and not showing his cards on kicking Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from the GOP conference. The group has notably remained silent in this moment, but its reaction moving forward can affect whether McCarthy gets the gavel.
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