Reporters don’t need to pretend to believe Kevin McCarthy’s faux outrage about politicized investigations


Citation Media Matters for America / Andrea Austria

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is dishonestly outraged about tonight’s hearing by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol by violent Trumpists bent on overthrowing the election. Reporters don’t need to pretend to believe him.

McCarthy has no standing whatsoever to complain about purportedly politicized congressional investigations – he specifically stressed the partisan political benefits of the Benghazi select committee House Republicans assembled in 2014 in response to nearly two years of Fox News agitation and conspiracy theories. 

The following year, he gave Fox News host Sean Hannity this explanation for why he would be more effective than previous Republican leaders:

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought and made that happen.

Hannity, who effectively functions as a GOP political operative, responded, “I agree. That's something good, I give you credit for that.”

While Benghazi was a pseudo-scandal that Fox and its GOP allies ginned up – by McCarthy’s own admission – for partisan benefit, January 6 involved real malfeasance by former President Donald Trump – again, by McCarthy’s own admission. He told House Republicans shortly after the aborted insurrection that Trump should resign for his role in inciting it. 

McCarthy then denied he had done so once his statements were reported, only for the subsequently released audio to reveal he had been lying – more evidence that he lacks credibility.