On May 20, 2021, when asked if he would be willing to participate in an investigation of the events of Jan. 6, Kevin McCarthy said, "Sure." He has already told us that he spoke with Trump during the insurrection, while being interviewed that day on CBS. McCarthy made a speech on the House floor on Jan. 13, laying the blame for the Jan. 6 violence directly at Trump's feet, and calling for Trump to accept responsibility. At the time, many Republicans, including McCarthy, discussed censuring Trump, or insisting upon his resignation.

But Wednesday, McCarthy's written response to the January 6th Select Committee's request to be interviewed was a flat refusal, along with a lot of Trumpian nonsense that the committee's work is somehow illegitimate. This is beyond disappointing; it shows McCarthy has a complete lack of ethical, responsible leadership. His statements and actions are destructive to a functioning, healthy democracy, but redistricting leaves us unable to hold him accountable. His has become the most secure Republican seat in the House. We're stuck with him.

— Jenell Mahoney, Bakersfield