(Headline USA) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says a committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol siege “will do the job it set out to do” despite Republicans’ vow to boycott the probe.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Wednesday that Republicans won’t participate after Pelosi rejected two of the Republicans he chose to sit on the panel, Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio. Pelosi made clear on Thursday that she won’t relent, telling reporters that the two men “took actions that made it ridiculous to put them on such a committee seeking the truth.”
“It is my responsibility as the speaker of the House to make sure we get to the truth of this, and we will not let their antics stand in the way of that,” Pelosi said.
Banks and Jordan are outspoken allies of former President Donald Trump, whose supporters are blamed by the Left for the siege to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s election win. Both men voted to challenge the validity of certain electoral votes in battleground states, in the hours after the siege.
It is unclear, for now, whether Pelosi will try and appoint other members to the panel, as she has the authority to do under committee rules. She left open the possibility, saying that there are other members who would like to participate. “We’ll see.”
One possibility is Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a NeverTrumper, who was one of only two Republicans to vote in favor of setting up the committee. The other, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, has already been appointed by Pelosi to sit on the panel along with seven Democrats — ensuring they have a quorum to proceed, whether other Republicans participate or not.
The back and forth over the panel is emblematic of the raw political tensions in Congress that have only escalated since the siege and raises the possibility that the investigation — the only comprehensive probe currently being conducted of the attack — will be done almost entirely by Democrats. The House voted in May to create an independent investigation that would have been evenly split between the parties, but Senate Republicans blocked that approach in a vote last month.
McCarthy called Pelosi’s move to exclude Banks and Jordan an “an egregious abuse of power” and said it 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.
It is unclear how McCarthy would lead a separate investigation, as the minority does not have the power to set up committees. He said the panel has lost “all legitimacy” because Pelosi wouldn’t allow the Republicans to name their own members.
“Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the Left’s authoritarian agenda,” Banks said.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.