Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has named five GOP appointees to serve on a select committee to investigate the Capitol riots on Jan. 6.
The House minority leader announced Rep. Jim Banks (Ind.), who chairs the GOP Study Committee, will lead the group as the Republican ranking member on the Democrat-led committee.
Other appointees include Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), a top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Rodney Davis (Ill.) from the House Administration Committee. Rep. Kelly Armstrong (N.D.) from the House Judiciary Committee during the first Donald Trump impeachment hearings, and Rep. Troy Nehls (Texas)–a former sheriff who supported Capitol Police in turning back rioters during the siege–will also join.
According to Politico, McCarthy chose them for their committee leadership and oversight experience. He hopes this will counter Democrats who are likely to use the committee they lead to hammer the previous president and Republican allies with allegations of fueling the attack on the Capitol.
Banks accepted the House minority leader’s offer, and promised to force Democrats and mainstream media to respond to unanswered questions about the attack.
“I have accepted leader McCarthy’s appointment to this committee because we need leaders who will force the Democrats and the media to answer questions so far ignored,” he said on Twitter. “Among them, why was the Capitol unprepared and vulnerable to attack on Jan. 6?”
He would also like the committee to investigate extreme anarchist protests that swept across America, following the 2020 death-in-custody of Minnesotan George Floyd.
“If Democrats were serious about investigating political violence, this committee would be studying not only the January 6 riot at the Capitol,” he said. “But also the hundreds of violent political riots last summer, when many more innocent Americans and law-enforcement officers were attacked.”
The Democrats have pushed to investigate the Capitol riots in several partisan efforts. In a vote to create the select committee late June only two ‘never-Trump’ Republican Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), voted to back the new committee with all of the Democrats.
In a June letter to Democratic colleagues, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called for fellow party members to push forward a bill to form a committee to investigate the January 6 event.
However, Banks believes the Democratic House speaker has ulterior motives behind establishing the committee. He vowed to prevent the committee from becoming a forum for condemning 80 million Americans for their political beliefs.
“Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the left’s authoritarian agenda,” he said on Twitter. “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.”
The five Republican appointees will join eight lawmakers–seven of whom are Democrats plus Cheney who was tapped by Pelosi.
The committee, chaired by Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), expects to hold its first hearing on July 27. It will invite witnesses from the Capitol Police Department and D.C. Metropolitan Police Department to speak.