Los Angeles Times

McCarthy may boycott panel over Pelosi vetoes

- By Sarah D. Wire

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Wednesday rejected two Republican­s picked by GOP leadership to serve on the House committee investigat­ing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfiel­d) said in response that none of his choices would participat­e in the inquiry unless Pelosi reversed her decision.

The speaker has final say on committee assignment­s, but normally defers to the minority leader’s choices to represent the other party.

Pelosi said in a statement that remarks by Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) raised concerns about their fitness for the panel, and that she rejected them out of “respect for the integrity of the investigat­ion, with an insistence on the truth,” and with concern about their past statements and actions.

Banks had been tapped by McCarthy to serve as the panel’s top Republican. Jordan has defended former President Trump in past Democratic-led investigat­ions. Both men challenged the certificat­ion of President Biden’s election win.

“Denying [their] voices ... 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,” McCarthy said in a statement on Pelosi’s decision.

“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,” he said.

The bipartisan committee, including GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, is scheduled to start meeting Tuesday. It has enough members to make a quorum and proceed even if none of McCarthy’s picks serve.

Cheney defended Pelosi’s decision, but fellow Republican­s joined McCarthy in saying the vetoes proved the panel would be partisan. Democrats said McCarthy’s picks showed he wasn’t taking the inquiry seriously.

“He refused to appoint or nominate five members who are serious about the task. Two of them were clearly selected just to be disruptive,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (DBurbank), who is on the committee.

Pelosi said she would accept McCarthy’s three other choices — Reps. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Troy Nehls (R-Texas) — and asked him to recommend two more.

The committee was created to investigat­e the security failures in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as Congress was certifying the presidenti­al election results.

Pelosi had tried to create an independen­t, nonpartisa­n commission, but was blocked by Senate Republican­s, who said it would also need to investigat­e unrelated political violence.

Five people died from injuries in the attack, and two police officers died by suicide. At least 140 officers were injured, some permanentl­y. More than 500 people have been arrested.

Committee leader Rep. Bennie Thompson (DMiss.) said the inquiry would go forward as scheduled. “This is about the integrity of the investigat­ion,” he said in a statement.

Also serving are Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-Redlands), Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Elaine Luria (D-Va.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Cheney and Schiff.

Cheney was picked by Pelosi after criticizin­g Trump and losing her GOP leadership post.

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