House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she is moving forward with the select committee to probe the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, despite pushback from the Republicans, which was sparked by her rejection of two picks by House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy.
How we got here: Earlier this week, McCarthy announced his five picks for the select committee as part of Pelosi’s promise to ensure that the investigation is bipartisan. However, the House Speaker rejected two of McCarthy’s choices on Thursday, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).
She did not elaborate on her decision at the time.
“I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”
Her decision prompted criticism from Republicans. McCarthy said that he would pull all off his picks if Pelosi doesn’t change her mind.
“I don’t think anybody in America … understand what a sham this committee is and how politically driven [it is] for her to pick and choose who can serve on [the committee],” he said.
What Pelosi said: The House Speaker told reporters later on Thursday that she will not allow Republicans to divert attention away from the investigation with “their antics.”
“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, adding that the Jan. 6 investigation is a “deadly serious” task.
Pelosi then explained that she did not approve Jordan and Banks as members for the select committee because they “made statements and taken actions that I think would impact the integrity of the commission of the committee, the work of the committee.”
She said their statements and actions “just made it ridiculous to put them on such a committee seeking the truth” and “make it impossible for them to exercise judgment.”
“Again this is about seeking the truth. And it’s about not I, as I said in my comment with respect for the integrity of the investigation with concern to the American people want to know the truth. And in light of statements and actions taken by them. I could not appoint them, I said that while this may be unprecedented. So, was an attack on the Capitol,” Pelosi said.
Worth noting: Both Jordan and Banks voted to challenge the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory in January.
What they said: Banks said in a statement that the House Speaker rejected them because she “knew that [Jordan] and I were going to ask the tough questions she didn’t want answered.”
Jordan said on Wednesday in a Pelosi, with her move, “admitted the obvious, that the January 6th Select Committee is nothing more than a partisan political charade.”
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