In a statement on Wednesday, Pelosi said that she rejects the appointment of Republican Reps. Jim Banks (Indiana) and Jim Jordan (Ohio) to a select committee she formed last month to investigate the “root causes” of the pro-Trump riot at the US Capitol on January 6.
Like former President Donald Trump’s supporters who entered the Capitol, Banks and Jordan both objected to Joe Biden’s electoral victory and voted not to certify it. Both are close allies of the former president, and vocal critics of Pelosi. In her statement, Pelosi said that she wouldn’t object to three other Republican nominees, only one of whom voted not to certify Biden’s win.
“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’s statement read. “The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) responded by declaring that he would pull these remaining representatives from Pelosi’s committee, which he described as a “sham.”
“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 tweeted.
From its inception, the committee seemed designed to reach a predetermined conclusion. In a speech announcing its formation, Pelosi declared that “white supremacy…anti-Semitism,” and “Islamophobia” were all responsible for the riot. Even in her statement on Wednesday, Pelosi claimed that “the violent domestic attack on Congress on January 6th was the worst assault on the Capitol since the War of 1812 and the worst domestic assault on American Democracy since the Civil War.”
The riot itself was broken up in a matter of hours, and Congress swiftly resumed its business of certifying Biden’s win. Only one person died at the hands of another during the riot – an unarmed Trump supporter shot dead by a Capitol Police officer. Nevertheless, Pelosi and other top Democrats, and President Biden himself, have used the terms “insurrection,” “assault on democracy,” and “domestic terrorism” to describe it – and to push tough new domestic terror laws and policies.
Barring a few anti-Trump members within their ranks, Republicans generally oppose Democrat-led efforts to investigate the riot, which they view as a partisan exercise. Shortly before Pelosi announced her select committee last month, Republican Senators voted down a proposal to establish a 9/11-style commission to probe the riot.
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