WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., rejected two of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s picks for the select committee charged with investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, prompting the Republican leader to threaten to pull all of his proposed appointees.
Pelosi spoke with McCarthy, R-Calif., on Wednesday morning “about the objections raised” to his decision to appoint Republican Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio and “the impact their appointments may have on the integrity of the investigation,” the speaker said in a statement.
Banks and Jordan supported objections to the election results during the formalization of President Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, which was temporarily disrupted by the violent mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters.
The select committee “is nothing more than a partisan political charade,” said Jordan, in response to Pelosi’s statement.
Pelosi said she “is prepared to appoint” McCarthy’s other picks, including Republican Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Troy Nehls of Texas, and requested that he recommend two other members.
When Pelosi was asked by reporters about her decision to reject Banks and Jordan but not Nehls, since he also voted to overturn the election, she said, “That was not the criteria.”
In response to the speaker’s decision, McCarthy threatened to retract all of his picks.
“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,” he said in a statement Wednesday.
The speaker’s decision came after members were outraged with comments made by Banks, as well as a trip to the border that included photos taken of Republican members with someone who participated in the riot, according to a senior Democratic aide familiar with deliberations.
Pelosi announced her appointments to the select committee this month, including several Democrats and Republican Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was ousted as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference after she spoke out against Trump and fellow Republicans over their false election-fraud claims.
Pelosi has a veto over McCarthy’s picks, which must be made in consultation with her, and the committee can proceed without those five members. The committee’s first hearing is scheduled for July 27.