House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday dismissed two Republicans tapped by House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy to sit on the committee investigating the January 6 Capitol uprising, a decision Republicans described as “a serious abuse of power.” condemned.
McCarthy said the GOP would not participate in the investigation if Democrats did not accept the members he had appointed.
Pelosi cited the “integrity” of the investigation in refusing to accept the appointments of Indiana Representative Jim Banks, who was chosen by McCarthy as the top Republican on the panel, or Ohio Representative Jim Jordan.
The two men are vocal allies of former President Donald Trump, whose supporters that day laid siege to the Capitol and obstructed President Joe Biden’s certification of victory. Both voted to reverse the election results in the hours following the siege.
Democrats have said the investigation will continue to see whether Republicans participate, as Pelosi has already appointed eight of the 13 members — including Republican Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a critic of Trump — and has given her the go-ahead. for a bipartisan quorum. to the rules of the committee.
Pelosi said she had spoken to McCarthy and told him she would decline both names.
Pelosi said in a statement, “With regard to the integrity of the investigation, with emphasis on the truth and concern about the statements and actions made by these members, I must reject the recommendations of Representative Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee. ” .
Pelosi has the authority to approve or reject members according to the committee’s rules, although he acknowledged that his move was unusual. She said “the unprecedented nature of January 6 demands this unprecedented decision.”
The move marks a raw political tension in Congress that has only increased since the rebellion and raises the possibility that the investigation – currently the only comprehensive investigation into the attack – will be conducted almost entirely by Democrats.
The House voted in May to create an independent investigation that would have been split equally between the parties, but Senate Republicans blocked that approach in a vote last month.
McCarthy said Pelosi’s move would harm the institution of Congress.
“Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and gives seats to all five Republican candidates, Republicans will not be a party to their pretentious process and will instead conduct our own investigation of the facts,” McCarthy said.