McCarthy pulls all Republicans from January 6 panel

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House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy says he will pull all five of his picks to serve on the select committee investigating the January 6 assault on the Capitol, if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn't rescind her rejection of two of his recommendations, Congressmen Jim Jordan and Jim Banks. 

McCarthy made that announcement Wednesday afternoon, moments after Pelosi said, “With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan.” She did not elaborate further on her decision to reject them.

Instead, McCarthy said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon that Republicans will conduct their own investigation. 

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken the unprecedented step of denying the minority party's picks for the Select Committee on January 6,” McCarthy said in a statement. “This 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.”

He added, “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.”

McCarthy had selected Banks to serve as the top Republican on the committee, along with Jordan and three others. In a statement Wednesday, Pelosi said she had no objection to the other three representatives picked by McCarthy — Representatives Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong and Troy Nehls.

“The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision,” Pelosi said in her statement. 

Banks, Jordan and Nehls were among the 139 House Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Pennsylvania and Arizona. Jordan, too, shot back at Pelosi for pulling his name. 

“Speaker Pelosi just admitted the obvious, that the January 6th Select Committee is nothing more than a partisan political charade,” Jordan said.

Pelosi said she asked McCarthy to choose two other members, but instead, McCarthy pulled all five. Pelosi has the authority to select Republicans to serve on the committee, if those Republicans agree to serve. 

Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney blasted McCarthy, and supported Pelosi's decision to pull Jordan and Banks from the committee. She said McCarthy, “at every opportunity” has “attempted to prevent the American people from understanding what happened” on January 6. 

“Any person who would be third in line to the presidency must demonstrate a commitment to the constitution and a commitment to the rule of law, and Minority Leader McCarthy has not done that,” she told reporters. 

The committee meets for the first time Tuesday. Then, it will hear from law enforcement officers about what they witnessed during the January 6 rioting. U.S Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn and Sergeant Aquilino Gonnell, and Metropolitan Police officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges are also expected to appear before the committee.

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