House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyPelosi weighing GOP picks for Jan. 6 probe The Hill’s Morning Report – Will Schumer back down on his deadline? Jim Jordan among McCarthy picks for Jan. 6 panel MORE (R-Calif.) has decided not to participate in the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot on the Capitol, yanking all of his GOP picks in protest of Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiEthics panel upholds 0 mask fines against Greene, other GOP lawmakers Trump says he’ll meet with Cheney challengers ahead of endorsement Pelosi weighing GOP picks for Jan. 6 probe MORE‘s (D-Calif.) decision to reject two top Republicans.
“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.
A Pelosi spokesman quickly shot down the possibility that Pelosi might reverse course.
“No, you have our statement,” said spokesman Drew Hammill.
McCarthy’s remarkable announcement came less than an hour after Pelosi had announced her refusal to seat two of McCarthy’s recommended choices for the select committee: Reps. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanOvernight Health Care: Fauci clashes with Paul – again | New York reaches .1B settlement with opioid distributors | Delta variant accounts for 83 percent of US COVID-19 cases Pelosi weighing GOP picks for Jan. 6 probe Fauci: Paul doesn’t know what he’s talking about ‘and I want to say that officially’ MORE (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.).
The special panel was created last month to investigate the Capitol siege, and Pelosi said the actions and statements of Jordan and Banks surrounding the violent episode threatened “the integrity of the investigation.”
Pelosi said she would accept the other three Republicans recommended by McCarthy earlier in the week: Reps. Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisPelosi weighing GOP picks for Jan. 6 probe The Hill’s Morning Report – Will Schumer back down on his deadline? Jim Jordan among McCarthy picks for Jan. 6 panel MORE (Ill.), Kelly Armstrong (N.D.) and Troy Nehls (Texas). And in a phone call with McCarthy Wednesday morning, she said she invited the Republican leader to choose two alternatives to Jordan and Banks.
McCarthy wasted no time huddling with those lawmakers in the Capitol — a short meeting followed quickly by his announcement that Republicans will not engage in the select committee probe.
“This represents an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution,” he said in his statement. “Denying the voices of members who have served in the military and law enforcement, as well as leaders of standing committees, has made it undeniable that this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility and shows the Speaker is more interested in playing politics than seeking the truth.”
The exchange marked an extraordinary display of partisan hostility, even for a body that’s practically defined by partisan theatrics. And it highlighted the degree of acrimony that still remains in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the building in a failed effort to stop Congress from formalizing President BidenJoe BidenKentucky lawmaker faces scrutiny for comparing Fauci to Jonestown cult leader Omar leads lawmakers in calling for US envoy to combat Islamophobia Public charter schools group blasts proposed Democratic cut MORE‘s election victory.
Pelosi’s first choice of investigative strategies was to create an independent, bipartisan panel modeled on the 9/11 commission. That measure was co-authored by a Republican, Rep. John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoHouse passes host of bills to strengthen cybersecurity in wake of attacks House passes bill to require TSA plan on improving airport security screenings during pandemic Biden opens new cyber fight with China MORE (N.Y.), and passed the House with the support of 35 GOP lawmakers. But it was blocked by Republicans in the Senate, leading House Democrats to create the select committee in June.
McCarthy’s decision not to participate means that the panel — designed to seat 13 lawmakers — will instead feature only the eight members appointed by Pelosi earlier in the month, including Reps. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonPelosi weighing GOP picks for Jan. 6 probe Jim Jordan among McCarthy picks for Jan. 6 panel NY progressive Bowman introducing 6B ‘Green New Deal for Public Schools’ MORE (D-Miss.), the chairman, and Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyTrump says he’ll meet with Cheney challengers ahead of endorsement Pelosi weighing GOP picks for Jan. 6 probe Jim Jordan among McCarthy picks for Jan. 6 panel MORE (R-Wyo.), a Trump critic who will now be the only Republican lawmaker on the one-sided committee.
The panel’s first hearing, scheduled for July 27, will feature testimony from four police officers who were injured during the Capitol attack.