Minority Parliamentary Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, expressed outrage at President Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, after rejecting two of the five Republicans he had selected to serve on the committee. The candidates are close allies of former President Donald Trump.
“Out of respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an emphasis on the truth and with concern for the statements made and actions taken by these members, I must reject the recommendations of the representatives. [Jim] Banks and [Jim] Jordan on the select committee, ”Pelosi said in a statement.
“The unprecedented nature of January 6 demands this unprecedented decision. “
In the hours following the assault by Trump supporters on the Capitol in Washington, DC in early January, Banks and Jordan voted to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Trump and his supporters had argued for weeks without evidence that the vote was marred by widespread fraud.
Pelosi said she spoke with McCarthy and told him she would reject both names.
“The Republicans will not be part of their sham process and will instead continue our own investigation into the facts,” McCarthy said in a statement, announcing that his five candidates would not sit on the committee.
Banks and Jordan accused Pelosi of being in politics. In a statement, Banks accused the Speaker of the House of “creating this committee to slander the Tories” and Jordan likened the investigation to “impeachment three.”
Trump has twice been impeached by the House and acquitted by the Senate each time.
Tension on the survey
Pelosi’s move is sure to further fuel tensions between the two parties over the insurgency and the House committee that nearly all Republicans have opposed.
Most members of the Republican Party have remained loyal to Trump despite the violent insurgency of his supporters.
McCarthy did not say for weeks whether Republicans would even participate in the inquiry, but on Monday he sent all five names to Pelosi.
Pelosi said in the statement that she accepted McCarthy’s other three picks: Reps Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Troy Nehls of Texas. All said later Wednesday that they would not participate.
Like Jordan and Banks, Nehls, who helped barricade the House floor doors during the insurgency, voted to overturn Biden’s presidential victory. Armstrong and Davis voted to certify the election.
McCarthy’s choices came after all but two Republicans opposed the creation of the 13-person select committee in a House vote last month, with most GOP members arguing that the Democratic majority panel would conduct a partisan investigation.
House Democrats initially attempted to create an independent and evenly divided commission to investigate the insurgency, but that effort failed when it was blocked by Senate Republicans.
Panel chair, Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, said the committee will have a quorum to conduct business whether or not GOP members are present.
Pelosi named eight panelists earlier this month – seven Democrats and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who has been heavily critical of Trump and has been the most outspoken member of his counterinsurgency caucus.
Cheney, who was demoted from the GOP leadership in May for her comments, was one of two Republicans who voted in favor of forming the committee, along with Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
The panel will hold its first hearing on July 27, with at least four base police officers who fought rioters that day, testifying about their experiences. Dozens of police were injured when the crowd passed them and broke into the Capitol building.
Seven people died during and after the riots, including a woman who was shot dead by police as she tried to break into the House bedroom and three other Trump supporters who suffered medical emergencies.
Two police officers died by suicide in the days that followed, and a third officer, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, collapsed and later died after engaging with protesters. A medical examiner determined he died of natural causes.