House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) vowed Wednesday to investigate questions surrounding the January 6 Capitol riot independently of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) “sham” select committee after the speaker vetoed two of McCarthy’s committee appointees.
McCarthy said there are “two main questions” he will seek to answer as he spoke at a press conference alongside Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jim Banks (R-IN) — the two congressmen Pelosi rejected — and his other three appointees, Reps. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Troy Nehls (R-TX), and Rodney Davis (R-IL).
“Why was the Capitol so ill-prepared for that day when they knew on December 14 they had a problem, and what have we done to make sure that never happens again?” McCarthy asked.
The GOP leader was fuming as he called Pelosi’s committee installment a “sham process” and said he refuses to participate unless Pelosi reverses her decision and allows all five of McCarthy’s appointees to serve on the committee.
Pelosi said Wednesday that some of her members opposed Jordan and Banks, the two standout conservative stalwarts of McCarthy’s five choices.
“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,” she said in a statement. “The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”
“We will run our own investigation,” he promised, adding that House Democrats also “must answer this question: Why are you allowing a lame duck speaker to destroy this institution? This is the people’s House, not Pelosi’s House.”
The GOP leader stood united with his appointees, who all gave remarks after McCarthy, agreeing with his position and indicating Pelosi was “afraid of” appointing Jordan and Banks.
Banks, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said:
She knows that we’re already asking questions in just the first couple of days … questions that Democrats have never asked about why the Capitol was vulnerable on that day when we had intelligence for weeks leading up to January 6 that told us that something dangerous could happen on January 6.
He added, “It begs the question that all of us should be asking, what is the speaker afraid of?”
Jordan suggested Pelosi is zoned in on attacking former President Donald Trump because other topics dominating the national narrative, such as the border crisis, urban crime, and inflation, are unfavorable for Democrats to address.
Pelosi in January led all Democrats and ten Republicans in voting to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” after the Capitol incident. Most Republicans opposed Pelosi’s charge as politicized and hypocritical, and the former president was ultimately acquitted in the Senate.
“They just want to be partisan,” Jordan said. “They just want to continue to attack the former president. They want to play their political games, so I applaud Leader McCarthy for saying we’re going to do our job. We’re going to continue to work and get to the bottom and answer the questions that the leader raised.”