House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday she’s rejecting two of the five GOP picks to sit on the newly-formed Jan. 6 select committee.
Pelosi said Wednesday she won’t appoint Reps. Jim Jordan from Ohio or Jim Banks from Indiana – two strong allies of former President Donald Trump – to the committee formed to investigate the cause of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and make recommendations on preventing future violence.
Jordan has been a dogged defender of Trump throughout his previous impeachment proceedings and serves as the top GOP member of the Judiciary Committee.
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Banks is the leader of the influential Republican Study Committee and recently teamed up with Trump in June to tour the southern border and call for a return of Trump’s immigration policies. GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy tapped Banks to be the top GOP member of the Jan. 6 committee, where he would lead the Republican response.
Pelosi, who has the final say on select committee appointments, said she’s rejecting both Banks and Jordan to preserve the “integrity” of the committee’s work.
“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 said in a statement. “The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”
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Pelosi said she accepts McCarthy’s three other picks for the panel: Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Troy Nehls of Texas.
It was not immediately clear whether McCarthy would appoint replacement members or boycott the committee altogether. Time is short with the first committee hearing scheduled for next Tuesday.
The hearing will spotlight first-hand accounts from four police officers who were defending the Capitol that day.
Republicans have dismissed the new committee as a political ploy, but Democrats have argued there needs to be an in-depth investigation on what went wrong and how to prevent such an attack from happening again.
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Pelosi had initially wanted an independent, non-partisan commission to investigate the attack, but the Senate ultimately rejected that bipartisan proposal. So Pelosi used her powers as speaker to form the select committee.
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“We need a comprehensive investigation as to who organized this attack, who paid for it, how they nearly succeeded in overthrowing a presidential election, why they did it and how we must organize ourselves to prevent anything like it from ever happening again,” Pelosi said in a statement.