House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said the panel looking into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol “will not let” GOP “antics stand in the way” of the investigation, offering her first detailed remarks on her rejection of two Republican lawmakers for the committee.
“It’s my responsibility as Speaker of the House to make sure we get to the truth on this, and we will not let their antics stand in the way of that,” Pelosi said at a press conference on Thursday.
Drama unfolded on Wednesday after Pelosi announced that she was rejecting two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) five nominees, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.).
Pelosi in her statement said she was rejecting the two “with respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth.”
She further elaborated on her decision on Thursday, telling reporters that the statements made and actions taken by the two lawmakers would “impact the integrity of the committee,” adding “this is deadly serious.”
McCarthy reacted to the move by yanking all five nominees to the committee, concluding that Republicans will not participate in the probe unless Pelosi “reverses course.”
Pelosi had already nominated Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a vocal Trump critic, to the panel, ensuring that at least one Republican would sit on the committee to make it bipartisan.
When pressed on the specific statements made by Banks and Jordan that led Pelosi to bar them from the panel, the Speaker pointed to a statement from Banks that referenced the Biden administration, despite former President Trump still being in office during the attack.
“I think one of them it was, sort of a, of Mr. Banks, was that the Biden administration was responsible for Jan. 6th. There was no Biden administration on Jan. 6,” Pelosi told reporters.
After being nominated to the committee by McCarthy, Banks released a statement on Monday saying he would “do everything possible to give the American people the facts about the lead up to January 6, the riot that day, and the responses from Capitol leadership and the Biden administration.”
Pelosi said statements and actions from Banks and Jordan, two staunch Trump defenders on Capitol Hill, “make it impossible for them to exercise judgment.”
“Again, this is about seeking the truth, and it’s about not, as I said in my comment, with respect to the integrity of the investigation, with concern that the American people want to know the truth, and in light of statements and actions taken by them, I could not appoint them. I said that while this may be unprecedented, so was an attack on the Capitol,” she continued.
At a different point in the press conference, Pelosi said it would be “ridiculous to put them on such a committee seeking the truth” in light of their actions and statements.
The Speaker also rejected the idea that she based her opposition to the two lawmakers on their votes against certifying the election. The mob attack on Jan. 6 sought to block Congress from formalizing Biden’s electoral victory.
“I hear the press saying ‘well they didn’t vote to accept the’ – that had nothing to do with it. Right from the start, when the members acted in that way and said they were not going to vote for the certification that Joe Biden was president, I said to the members ‘do not let that stand in the way of you finding bipartisan agreement on legislation here. I’m not encouraging that at all. You find your common ground, we strive for bipartisanship.’ So how they voted on that bill, it’s not relevant to how we are legislating,” she said.
Banks and Jordan both voted against certifying the election results on Jan. 6, in addition to Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), who McCarthy also nominated to the committee and Pelosi accepted.
Via The Hill