House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has blocked two out of five Republicans nominated to serve on a select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack though she tapped seven Democrats and another never-Trump Republican for the panel.
Pelosi vetoed Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) that House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-Calif.) picked for the committee, citing “the integrity of the investigation.”
“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,” Pelosi said in a press release on Wednesday, July 21.
“The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi was likely referring to a statement by Rep. Banks, who, after accepting McCarthy’s appointment as the Republican ranking member on the committee, vowed to force Democrats and media to answer the untold questions surrounding the Capitol riot.
“If Democrats were serious about investigating political violence, this committee would be studying not only the January 6 riot at the Capitol, but also the hundreds of violent political riots last summer when many more innocent Americans and law-enforcement officers were attacked,” Banks said, adding that he will try 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.
In her press release, Pelosi said that the committee needs “a comprehensive investigation as to who organized the attack, who paid for it, how they nearly succeeded in overthrowing a presidential election, why they did it and how we must organize ourselves to prevent anything like it from ever happening again.”
However, the speaker said she wanted McCarthy to replace Banks and Jordan with two others while agreeing to appoint Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), and Troy Nehls (R-Texas).
In his response, McCarthy called Pelosi’s move an action of abuse of power.
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken the unprecedented step of denying the minority party’s picks for the Select Committee on January 6,” McCarthy said in a statement. “This represents an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution.”
“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,” he continued.
“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,” the House GOP leader said.
Pelosi vetoed the Republican nominees while she has appointed a number of Democratic members to the select committee, including Reps. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, Zoe Lofgren of California, Adam Schiff of California, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Pete Aguilar of California, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, and Elaine Luria of Virginia. She also picked Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a never-Trump Republican, to the committee.
The committee is set to hold its first hearing on July 27, featuring witnesses from the Capitol Police Department and D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.