September 20, 2021

Jan. 6 Capitol riot commission collapses after Nancy Pelosi vetoes Republican selections Jim Jordan, Jim Banks

WASHINGTON — Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday rejected two of Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy’s suggestions for the choose committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, inflicting McCarthy to drag all of his Republican nominees.

Pelosi rejected two of McCarthy’s suggestions — Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio, a staunch defender of former President Donald Trump.

Banks and Jordan each voted to overturn the election outcomes on Jan. 6 and Pelosi mentioned their appointments may affect “the integrity of the investigation.”

“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,” she mentioned in an announcement. (*6*)With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the reality and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I need to reject the suggestions of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Choose Committee,” she said.

“The unprecedented nature of January sixth calls for this unprecedented choice,” Pelosi added.

McCarthy shot back at a news conference on Wednesday, saying Pelosi had created “a sham course of.”

“Home Democrats should reply this query,” he said. “Why are you permitting a lame-duck speaker to destroy this establishment? That is the Folks’s Home, not Pelosi’s Home.”

He said unless Pelosi changes her mind and seats all five nominees, “we won’t take part.” But, he said, Republicans will run their own investigation to answer why the Capitol was “ill-prepared” for the riot — something he and Republicans have blamed on Pelosi.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken the unprecedented step of denying the minority get together’s picks for the Choose Committee on January 6,” he said in an earlier statement. “This represents an egregious abuse of energy and can irreparably injury this establishment. Denying the voices of members who’ve served within the navy and legislation enforcement, in addition to leaders of standing committees, has made it simple that this panel has misplaced all legitimacy and credibility and exhibits the Speaker is extra enthusiastic about enjoying politics than in search of the reality,” it read in part.

The House Select Committee was expected to hold its first hearing on Tuesday.

House GOP Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., on Tuesday signaled some of the lines of inquiry Republicans would have tried to advance — calling for an examination of “the entire array of political violence that led as much as Jan. 6 and nonetheless has gone on after that” along with the security posture on Capitol Hill before the insurrection.

“There have been many questions raised about why there hasn’t been the next Nationwide Guard presence,” Scalise said, hitting on a point McCarthy drove home on Wednesday.

As to how Republicans would respond to Democrats calling for GOP members to testify under oath about Jan. 6, Scalise said he would “let members of the committee focus on that and debate that.”

Asked at his press conference if he was still prepared to testify about his phone call with Trump during the riot, McCarthy said the call is already “on the market.”

“The query is, you make a telephone name after persons are within the Capitol to advise the president of what is going on on, does not get to the reply of why had been we ill-prepared,” he said. “That is actually enjoying politics, and it actually exhibits if that is the difficulty that they wish to go to, earlier than they wish to drive, we do not get all of the solutions.”

President Joe Biden did not answer shouted questions on the Jan. 6 commission developments while departing the White House Wednesday, but the White House issued a statement emphasizing that Biden stands behind Pelosi’s decision.

“The President has made clear that the shameful occasions of January sixth deserve a full, impartial, and clear investigation to make sure one thing like that by no means occurs once more, and he has full confidence within the Speaker’s skill to guide that work,” White House spokesperson Michael Gwin said in a statement.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the select committee, signaled in a statement Wednesday that Democrats — and Republican Liz Cheney, a Pelosi pick — would move forward with plans to hold their first hearing Tuesday despite GOP plans to abandon the panel. He said the group would go ahead with plans to hear testimony from law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol during the insurrection.

“We owe it to our democracy to remain the course and never be distracted by side-shows,” he said in the statement.

Cheney, speaking to reporters Wednesday afternoon, said she agreed with Pelosi’s decision and called McCarthy’s statements “disingenuous.”

“The assault on this constructing on January sixth was the worst assault on this Capitol since 1814. It was an assault on our Structure,” she said. “We supported what would have been the perfect choice, which was a bipartisan, impartial commission. The minority chief opposed that. He lobbied in opposition to it within the Senate and the Senate blocked it. “

The American people deserve to know the truth and for the perpetrators of the insurrection to be “held accountable,” she added.

“There should be an investigation that’s nonpartisan, that’s sober, critical, that will get to the information wherever they could lead,” she said. “And at each alternative the minority chief has tried to forestall the American folks from understanding what occurred, to dam this investigation.”

ABC Information’ Katherine Faulders, John Parkinson, Sarah Kolinovsky and Kate Pastor contributed to this report.