House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced on Wednesday that she has rejected two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) picks to serve on the 1/6 select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection.
McCarthy made his choices known earlier this week, but while three of the picks were acceptable to Democrats, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.) were rejected by Pelosi in part because of their devotion to Donald Trump, their vote against certifying the election, and their obvious determination to sabotage the probe.
Banks and Jordan even made statements blaming Pelosi and Democrats for the insurrection even though the terrorist attack on the Capitol was perpetrated by Trump supporters who may have had help from Republican lawmakers.
And so, Pelosi used her veto power to reject both of them.
“Monday evening, the Minority Leader recommended 5 Members to serve on the Select Committee,” Pelosi said. “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. I also informed him that I was prepared to appoint Representatives Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong, and Troy Nehls, and requested that he recommend two other Members.”
“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 concluded.
Rather than accept the rejection like a grown-up, McCarthy threw a temper tantrum and withdrew all of his picks while threatening that Republicans will conduct their own separate probe.
“This represents an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution,” McCarthy whined. “Denying the voices of members who have served in the military and law enforcement, as well as leaders of standing committees, has made it undeniable that this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility and shows the Speaker is more interested in playing politics than seeking the truth. 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.”
Except it’s not an “abuse of power” because the House passed a resolution creating the committee that gave Pelosi the power to reject McCarthy’s selections. Furthermore, Republicans had a chance to support an independent commission to investigate the insurrection that would have given them equal footing and they decided to block it instead. It should also be pointed out that Republicans won’t be able to use House resources to conduct their sham probe since they are not the majority party. They would lack the power to issue subpoenas and Americans would obviously see it as the desperate witch hunt it would be.
McCarthy knew that Jordan and Banks would be unacceptable and yet he chose them anyway. Of course, if McCarthy insists on Republican non-participation, Pelosi could always appoint Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who would likely be only too happy to accept a seat on the committee.
One way or another, Democrats and the few remaining democracy-supporting Republicans will get to the bottom of the insurrection and any Republican complicity.
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