- Pelosi rejects Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks to the House Select Committee.
- Kevin McCarthy selected 5 Republicans to the House panel.
- Banks and Jordan are outspoken supporters of former President Trump.
WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday rejected two Republican members for the select committee that will investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy responded by threatening to pull House Republicans out of the process.
McCarthy on Monday selected five Republicans to join the committee: ranking member Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong and Texas Rep. Troy Nehls.
Earlier Wednesday, Pelosi said she “must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee.”
In a statement, Pelosi said she had spoken with McCarthy about “the objections raised about Representatives Jim Banks and Jim Jordan and the impact their appointments may have on the integrity of the investigation.”
Both Banks and Jordan were among those who opposed certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election and have criticized the select committee’s investigation. Pelosi cited both those factors in her rejection of the two.
McCarthy said Pelosi’s action “represents an egregious abuse of power.”
“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 said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.
At a press briefing, McCarthy reiterated that Republicans may launch another inquiry into the Capitol riot.
“No committee in Congress will work if one person is picking all who can serve,” McCarthy said. “This has not happened before; we will run our own investigation.”
Jordan, a vocal critic of the committee, said, “Speaker Pelosi just admitted the obvious, that the January 6th Select Committee is nothing more than a partisan political charade,” in a statement.
Banks said in a tweet that he was “disappointed in this unprecedented move” by Pelosi.
“This proves again this is entirely a political stunt, not a true effort to follow the facts,” he added.
Other lawmakers, groups react
The sole Republican on the select committee chosen by Pelosi, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, told reporters she supported Pelosi’s decision. “I agree with what the Speaker has done,” Cheney said.
Cheney also took aim at McCarthy’s actions, saying, “at every opportunity, the minority leader has attempted to prevent the American people from understanding what happened, to block this investigation.”
Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., the chairman of the select committee, released a statement also backing Pelosi.
“The Speaker, by exercising her authority under H.Res. 503 again took decisive action to bring us closer to delivering the answers that the American public seek about this attack on our democracy,” Thompson said.
“This is about the integrity of the investigation. Period.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee echoed the comments from Jordan and Banks.
“Nancy Pelosi is abusing her power and acting like a tyrant,” said NRCC spokesman Mike Berg. “Democrats’ only goal with this sham committee is to score political points.”
Banks and Jordan are vocal in their support of Trump
All five of the congressmen recommended by McCarthy had voted against impeaching former President Donald Trump during his second trial.
In a statement, Banks said he accepted the appointment to the House Select Committee to “force the Democrats and media to answer questions so far ignored.” Banks has previously criticized the House panel’s investigation, arguing that the focus should be on last summer’s racial justice protests as well as the Jan. 6 riot.
In a Newsmax interview Monday, Jordan, an outspoken Trump supporter, told the conservative outlet, “We know what this is. This is impeachment Round 3.”
Pelosi also took aim at the GOP for scuttling an independent investigation into the riots.
“It had been our hope to establish a bipartisan, independent National Commission,” Pelsoi said. “But there is no prospect for that Commission at this time because of insufficient support from Republican Senators.
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Contributing: Bart Jansen, Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY; Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star