Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chair of the House Select Committee investigating January 6, said Friday on CNN’s “OutFront” that the Democrats would move forward without Republicans if that is necessary.
Thompson said, “We are prepared to move forward. We hope to have a fully populated committee, but under the rules, Democrats have a form of the committee, and we’ll go forward.”
Burnett said, “I want to emphasize for anyone watching that McCarthy did oppose a bipartisan commission with equal representation. Completely opposed that, right? So this is what Pelosi did in lieu of what McCarthy said he wanted. Now you’re in a tough spot. If you move are without Republicans at all, does it fuel the narrative that the panel is political?”
Thompson said, “It fuels the fact McCarthy didn’t do his job. I negotiated the other agreement that McCarthy wanted done. We accepted everything he put on the table, and at the last minute, he opposed it. So Speaker Pelosi and the leadership on the Democratic side were left with no choice. We can’t walk away from what happened on January 6th. We have to make sure it never happens again.”
“So whether McCarthy comes to forward or not, the committee has a quorum,” he continued. “We had two meetings and decided to have hearings and other things necessary. We have to protect the Capitol. We have to protect the members of Congress and everyone that utilizes that facility. So it’s important for us to go forward. So we would hope to have McCarthy’s nominations, but he’s proven not to be trustworthy in the negotiations. So I think the speaker is correct to have the final approval on what goes on the committee. We’ll produce a product. Our challenge is to look at the circumstances and facts surrounding January 6th. It won’t be a sideshow. It will be a deliberative process to help us figure out for the sake of this country what went wrong and then recommend the fixes necessary so that it will never happen again.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN