House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tried to lend an air of bipartisanship to her select committee to investigate unrest at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by inviting House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to name a handful of Republicans to the group.
But according to Breitbart, Pelosi roundly rejected two of McCarthy’s top picks — Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) — in a move that Banks said only confirmed that the commission is “entirely a political stunt” on the speaker’s part.
Even Politico journalist and CNN political analyst Rachel Bade acknowledged how bad the rejection of Banks and Jordan looked.
“Pelosi’s move to reject GOP picks for the 1/6 panel is going to be a gift to Kevin McCarthy in the long run,” she wrote in a tweet. “He wanted this panel to look partisan and political. Now it’s definitely going to look partisan and political.”
Pelosi’s “purely partisan exercise”
In a statement after Pelosi made clear she wouldn’t be naming him to the commission, Banks didn’t mince words. “I’m a sitting member of Congress and served my country in Afghanistan and the Speaker knows how hard I will fight for my country,” he said.
“We said all along that this was a purely partisan exercise by the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi’s rejection of me and Jim Jordan shows once again she is the most partisan figure in America today,” the congressman added. “The American people deserve the truth. Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi is afraid of the facts.”
As a member of Congress and an Afghanistan veteran I’m disappointed in this unprecedented move by @SpeakerPelosi. She knows @Jim_Jordan & I will fight for our country and for the truth. This proves again this is entirely a political stunt, not a true effort to follow the facts.
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) July 21, 2021
Jordan, for his part, said “Speaker Pelosi just admitted the obvious, that the January 6th Select Committee is nothing more than a partisan political charade.”
An “egregious abuse of power”
According to ABC News, Pelosi claimed that naming Banks and Jordan to the group would compromise “the integrity of the investigation,” and even went so far as to suggest McCarthy name two more Republicans to the commission. “The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision,” she said.
But McCarthy wasn’t buying it. The minority leader reportedly withdrew the rest of his picks for the committee in protest, calling the entire thing a “sham process.”
In a statement to the media, McCarthy said Pelosi’s move “represents an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution.”
“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 California Republican added.