On Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said her January 6 Select Committee will proceed despite what she labeled Republican “antics” — a reference to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) decision to pull GOP participation from the committee after she refused to seat two of his five picks.
Speaking to reporters, Pelosi discussed her decision to block some of the members that McCarthy selected on Wednesday, which sparked fierce criticism and allegations of partisanship.
As reported by Politico, Pelosi reportedly suggested that she would think about putting more Republicans on the committee. “Her GOP appointee to the investigation, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), separately made clear that she would support two well-known additions to the committee: Kinzinger (R-Ill.), her partner in conservative opposition to Donald Trump, and former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), a possible pick as Cheney’s outside adviser in the investigation,” the outlet noted.
“We’ll see,” Pelosi said to the press when she was asked if she would put additional Republicans next to Cheney. “It’s not even bipartisan; it’s nonpartisan. It’s about seeking the truth and that’s what we owe the American people.”
On Wednesday, as Politico reported, “Pelosi rejected Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), who was tapped to serve as ranking member, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), both of whom voted to challenge certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral wins earlier this year.”
As NBC News reported on Wednesday, when Speaker Pelosi was asked by the press about her choice to veto Banks and Jordan but not Representative Troy Nehls (R-TX), who “also voted to overturn the election, she said, ‘That was not the criteria.’”
After Pelosi’s move, “McCarthy simply yanked Republican participation, imperiling the legitimacy of Pelosi’s eventual findings, casting the Democrats Select Committee as a ‘sham process,’” The Daily Wire reported.
“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.
“I’m not talking about him,” Pelosi said of McCarthy on Thursday. “Let’s not waste each other’s time.”
On Thursday, the Speaker said her choice to veto Banks and Jordan wasn’t because they voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results. She said that she would not elaborate on which statements Jordan and Banks made that caused her to block them from the committee but pointed to one of Banks’ statements when he mentioned the Biden administration.
Pelosi claimed that Banks said the Biden administration was responsible for January 6, saying, “There was no Biden administration on January 6.”
In reality, Banks had tweeted a statement on Monday, writing, “I will do everything possible to give the American people the facts about the lead up to January 6, the riot that day, and the responses from Capitol leadership and the Biden administration.”
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) July 19, 2021
“Of the three [McCarthy picks] that I appointed, one of them voted against the ratification and the other two voted for it. Having said that, though, the other two [Jordan and Banks] made statements and took actions that just made it ridiculous to put them on such a committee seeking the truth,” she said, per Axios.
“When statements are ridiculous and fall into the realm of, ‘You must be kidding,’ there’s no way that they’re going to be on the committee,” Pelosi said.