GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has threatened to pull five of his picks that could have been part of the committee to investigate the Capitol Hill riot on January 6 after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of his picks, Congressman Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, with no clear reason.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Republican lawmaker made his announcement shortly after the Democratic House Speaker said that she rejected the two picks because she feared the integrity of the investigation would be negatively affected. In her statement, Pelosi said her decision was based on the actions and statements made by the two lawmakers.
Rejection of Republicans
McCarthy told journalists during a press conference on Wednesday that Republican officials will conduct their own investigation into the incident. In a statement, the GOP leader said Pelosi's decision was an unprecedented move that abused authority and power to deny the minority of their rights.
The GOP leader said that he will not take back his decision unless Pelosi rescinds her rejection of Jordan and Banks. McCarthy demanded that the House Speaker seat all five of his picks and said the Republican party will not be part of the "sham process" if the Democrat decides not to, CBS News reported.
If chosen, Banks would have been the top Republican on the committee and argued that Pelosi did not reject any of the other representatives: Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong, and Troy Nehls. In her statement, the House speaker said her unprecedented decision was fueled by the unprecedented acts of the January 6 riot.
Even without McCarthy's recommendations, the committee remains bipartisan due to Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming being selected to be part of the investigation. She has been a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump. But McCarthy argued Pelosi's decision was to make the committee partisan.
However, one GOP source said that Pelosi's rejection of the picks was a gift to Republicans, primarily due to the hesitancy of many lawmakers to take part in the investigation. He said that they would be forced to confront complicated questions regarding former President Trump's role in instigating the riot.
Integrity of the Investigation
Additionally, Pelosi's rejection and McCarthy's pull of his picks from the committee would mean Trump has no allies when the group holds its hearings. Spokesman Drew Hammill said that one such event will be held next week and will not be delayed despite the controversy, CNN reported.
In response to the arguments, Cheney said she agreed with Pelosi's decision to reject the two GOP members. She argued that McCarthy has taken every step to prevent the public from knowing the truth of the matter and block the investigative process.
Representative Bennie G. Thompson, the chairman of the select committee, also expressed his support of the House speaker, saying she issued her decision based on H.Res. 503. The lawmaker said Pelosi continued to support finding out the truth of the incident that has threatened the country's democracy. He said that the rejection was for the integrity of the investigation, USA Today reported.