House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday rejected two of Republican leaders’ picks for a newly created committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, suggesting they’ve made false statements and taken concerning actions that make them less credible participants in the probe.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) responded by saying he would pull all five of his picks for the committee.
Pelosi said she is rejecting Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.) and Jim Jordan (Ohio). The two lawmakers were among those who voted to overturn the presidential election based on a lie about voter fraud that fueled the deadly attack on Jan. 6.
“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 statement. “The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”
McCarthy, who also voted to overturn the election based on the lie that fueled the attack, tapped Banks and Jordan for the committee, along with Reps. Troy Nehls (Texas), Rodney Davis (Ill.) and Kelly Armstrong (N.D.).
Nehls also voted to overturn the election, but Davis and Armstrong did not. Pelosi said Wednesday that she is prepared to appoint all three of them, and that she informed McCarthy of her decision on Wednesday morning.
“I have spoken with him ... about the objections raised about Representatives Jim Banks and Jim Jordan and the impact their appointments may have on the integrity of the investigation,” she said. ”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.”
Within minutes, McCarthy responded that he was pulling all five of the lawmakers he had chosen. He called Pelosi’s decision “unprecedented.”
“This represents an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution,” said McCarthy, who spent months spreading the lie that there was widespread voter fraud in the presidential election. “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.”
What this all means is that the committee will proceed without McCarthy’s picks but that Pelosi can pick others for those seats. She already has one Republican wiling to serve on the committee: Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.).
Cheney did not vote to overturn the presidential election and has been a vocal critic of her colleagues who have repeated lies about voter fraud.