UPDATE 1:50 PM: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday rejected two Republicans tapped by House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy to sit on a committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, a decision McCarthy denounced as “an egregious abuse of power.”
McCarthy said the GOP won’t participate the investigation if Democrats won’t accept the members he appointed.
McCarthy said in a statement that Pelosi’s move will damage the institution of Congress.
“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.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: (Headline USA) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two Republicans tapped by House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy to sit on a committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, citing the “integrity” of the probe.
Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday she would not accept the appointments of Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, picked by McCarthy to be the top Republican on the panel, or Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. Both are close allies of former President Donald Trump.
“Speaker Pelosi just admitted the obvious — that the January 6th Select Committee is nothing more than a partisan political charade,” said Jordan in a statement.
In the hours after the insurrection, both Banks and Jordan voted to challenge some electoral votes that certified Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Pelosi said she had spoken with McCarthy and told him that she would reject the two names.
“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.
Pelosi has the authority to approve or reject members, per committee rules, though she acknowledged her moved was unusual. She said “the unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”
The speaker’s decision is certain to further inflame tension between the two parties over the insurrection and the House panel that almost all Republicans opposed. McCarthy had wouldn’t say for weeks whether Republicans would even participate in the probe, but on Monday, he sent the five names to Pelosi.
Pelosi said in the statement that she had accepted McCarthy’s three other picks — Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong and Texas Rep. Troy Nehls.
Like Jordan and Banks, Nehls voted to challenge some electors. Armstrong and Davis voted to certify the election.
McCarthy’s picks came after all but two Republicans opposed the creation of the 13-person select committee in a House vote last month, with most in the GOP arguing that the majority-Democratic panel would conduct a partisan probe. House Democrats originally attempted to create an evenly split, independent commission to investigate the insurrection, but that effort fell short when it was blocked by Senate Republicans.
“Nancy Pelosi is abusing her power and acting like a tyrant,” said Mike Berg, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Democrats’ only goal with this sham committee is to score political points.”
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.