“I think the only reasonable conclusion is that he’s afraid of Donald Trump. And he doesn’t want to offend him — doesn’t want to get disinvited to Mar-a-Lago, but it is sad and it is pathetic,” McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on “OutFront.”
“And getting to the truth matters here. You know, I was there on January 6. I was the last person off the House floor. I had to tell members to get their gas masks before they evacuated. I walked out to the Speaker’s Lobby and saw this mad mob breaking the glass.”
McGovern’s comments came hours after McCarthy had announced his opposition to the bipartisan agreement for an independent commission that would be tasked with investigating the circumstances behind supporters of then-President Donald Trump breaching the Capitol to try to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote for President Joe Biden.
The House could vote on the bill as early as Wednesday, but McCarthy’s opposition immediately sowed doubt about whether the legislation would even make it to the Senate floor for a vote.
Looming large over the debate is what the commission would mean for a Republican Party that is split between those anxious to put Trump in the rearview window and those who view him as essential to the party’s future
Even Republican senators who want to move on from Trump have reservations about spending months relitigating events that were already covered in an impeachment trial and would put the former President back in the daily news cycle.
But McGovern maintained Tuesday that this “should not be a difficult vote” while he touted the commission as an important mechanism for understanding the circumstances of the insurrection — regardless of political party.
“This is a truly bipartisan commission, negotiated in a bipartisan way, and you know it is what we all strive to achieve here on Capitol Hill. So that it is controversial, that Kevin McCarthy all of a sudden is getting cold feet because he’s afraid of Donald Trump — it’s pathetic,” he said.
“And so I appeal to my Republican colleagues: Do the right thing. It’s important that this commission move forward and that there be a full accounting and that the truth be out there.”