Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) abruptly yanked all five Republican appointees from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) Democrat-led committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riot after Pelosi refused to seat Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jim Banks (R-IN) over concerns that the two GOP Members would impact the “integrity of the investigation.”
McCarthy announced his picks for the Select Committee on Monday, balancing out three more moderate Republicans with two supporters of former President Donald Trump, likely in order to ensure that Pelosi seated the full complement of GOP appointees alongside her own Democrat appointees and her hand-selected Republican panel members, including Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney.
Banks, after being appointed, said he would “force Democrats and the media” to “answer questions so far ignored. Among them, why was the Capitol so unprepared and vulnerable to attack on January 6th?”
He also suggested that he would try to steer the Select Committee towards investigating political violence more broadly, probing not just the January 6th riot, but also ongoing violence in Democrat-run cities like Portland, Oregon.
My statement on being appointed by @GOPLeader to serve as the Republican ranking member on the Select Committee to investigate Jan. 6: pic.twitter.com/dSJNF56EA9
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) July 19, 2021
But McCarthy appointed three other panelists who are unlikely to be Trump allies, Republican Reps. Rodney Davis (IL), Kelly Armstrong (ND), and Troy Nehls (TX). Davis was one of 35 Republicans to vote with the Speaker to create the Select Committee; Armstrong signed a letter impugning his colleagues for objecting to the results of the presidential election; and freshman Nehls, who voiced support for Trump but has a reputation for bipartisanship, per Forbes.
Upon his appointment, Nehls said, simply, that “Jan. 6 was a sad day and let’s just get to the bottom of it.”
NEW: McCarthy picks for Jan. 6 select committee, via GOP source:
Jim Banks (ranking member)
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) July 19, 2021
On Wednesday, Pelosi issued a statement vehemently refusing to seat Banks and Jordan over concerns about “the impact their appointments may have on the integrity of the investigation” — a move she acknowledged as “unprecedented.”
“Monday evening, the Minority Leader recommended 5 Members to serve on the Select Committee. I have spoken with him this morning about the objections raised about Representatives Jim Banks and Jim Jordan and the impact their appointments may have on the integrity of the investigation. I also informed him that I was prepared to appoint Representatives Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong, and Troy Nehls, and requested that he recommend two other Members,” she wrote.
“With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee,” she added. “The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”
When asked by reporters why she rejected Banks and Jordan, Pelosi said, “January 6th.”
In response, McCarthy simply yanked Republican participation, imperiling the legitimacy of Pelosi’s eventual findings, casting the Democrats Select Committee as a “sham process.”
“This represents an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Denying the voices of members who have served in the military and law enforcement, as well as leaders of standing committees, has made it undeniable that this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility and shows the Speaker is more interested in playing politics than seeking the truth.”
“Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts,” McCarthy told reporters.
McCarthy: “Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts.” pic.twitter.com/Gx0ymcSqOB
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 21, 2021
Banks echoed McCarthy’s sentiments.
“We said all along that this was a purely partisan exercise by the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi’s rejection of me and Jim Jordan shows once again she is the most partisan figure in America today,” he said.