House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that she is rejecting two GOP members and close House allies of former President Trump —Reps Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana from serving on the special committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot attack, saying they were “concerns about statements made and actions taken” that “demanded this unprecedented decision.”
“Monday evening, the Minority Leader recommended 5 Members to serve on the Select Committee. I have spoken with him this morning about the objections raised about Representatives Jim Banks and Jim Jordan and the impact their appointments may have on the integrity of the investigation,” Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday morning.
In announcing her rejection of Banks and Jordan, Pelosi noted Democratic members of her caucus raised specific “objections.” However, the House Speaker did not specify in the statement exactly what those objections were raised or referenced the exact statements and actions the two Republicans said or made.
“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. The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi, who has the final authority, based on the language of the Resolution on the formation and has the power to veto any members McCarthy recommends to serve in the 13-member committee. She informed McCarthy that she accepts the three other Republican panelists the GOP leader recommended on Monday — relatively low-profile Reps. Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, a moderate who serves as the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, and Troy Nehls of Texas, adding that she “recommend” the GOP leader to name two new members.
McCarthy quickly fired back, calling Pelosi’s action an “egregious abuse of power.”
“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,” McCarthy said in a statement following Pelosi’s announcement.
Jordan tweeted, “Speaker Pelosi just admitted the obvious, that the January 6th Select Committee is nothing more than a partisan political charade.”
Banks, in a tweet, said 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.
The National Republican Congressional Committee also echoed the comments made by Jordan and Banks tweets.
“Nancy Pelosi is abusing her power and acting like a tyrant. Democrats’ only goal with this sham committee is to score political points,” NRCC spokesman Mike Berg said in a statement
On Tuesday, Pelosi didn’t rule out vetoing McCarthy’s picks, telling reporters that she is “reviewing” the options on whether to consider approving “his proposals.” She noted that she wouldn’t automatically disqualify those GOP lawmakers who objected to the results of the 2020 election when making her final decision.
“I’m considering his proposals,” Pelosi told reporters Tuesday. “But to be clear, how people voted on the president — affirming the election of Joe Biden is not a criterion for service. That doesn’t matter.”
Banks, Jordan, and Nehls are three of McCarthy’s selection among the 140 House Republicans who voted against certifying the Electoral College results for President Biden in certain contested states following the chaos that ensued during the joint certification session Jan 6.
In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, McCarthy announced that he has decided to pull all five Republican members selected from serving unless the House Speaker reverses course to “include all of his picks into the committee.”
“Speaker Pelosi has taken the unprecedented step of denying the minority party’s picks for the select committee on Jan. 6… It’s an egregious abuse of power. Pelosi has broken this institution. Denying the voice of members who have served in the military. Jim Banks, a Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan, chair of the largest caucus of the Republican conference and law enforcement, as well as the leader of a standing committee… Jim Jordan has served on select committees and serves on one now. Made it undeniable this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility,” McCarthy said.
“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 added.
The GOP leader told reporters that Pelosi’s excuse for objecting to Jordan and Banks was due to “her members didn’t want her to have these people.”
Pelosi earlier this month named her eight members to serve on the special committee, picking seven Democrats and one Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, to serve. The Democrat-led select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was established last month after a bipartisan panel failed to pass in the Senate. The bipartisan panel to examine the Capitol riot passed in House back in May with 35 GOP lawmakers broke ranks to vote in favor of the measure. Senate Republicans blocked the House measure that would have created a 9/11-style bipartisan commission after the upper chamber fell short of the 60 votes needed to pass a key procedural hurdle.
The House last month passed largely along party lines in a 222-190 vote Pelosi resolution that established the alternative select committee panel with only two GOP members backing the measure — Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Cheney. The Wyoming Congresswoman was one of the 10 House GOP who voted to impeach Trump in the second impeachment and has since become one of the GOP’s most vocal critics of the former president following his acquittal in February.
Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill said the committee’s first scheduled hearing will still occur next week and quickly shot down the possibility that the House Speaker would reverse course on McCarthy’s demand.