Politics continues to hamper efforts in the US Congress to investigate the causes and events of the January 6 riots at the US Capitol as House Republicans announced a boycott of a special investigative committee scheduled to meet next week.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, has expressed his anger at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, after she rejected two of the five Republicans he chose for committee membership. The candidates are close allies of former President Donald Trump.
“With regard to the impartiality of the investigation, while insisting on the truth and with concern about the statements made by these members and the actions taken by these members, I must reject the recommendations of the Representatives [Jim] banks and [Jim] “Jordan to the select committee,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“The unprecedented nature of January 6 demands this unprecedented decision.”
In the hours after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C. in early January, Banks and Jordan voted to rescind Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Trump and his supporters argued for weeks without evidence that the vote was marred by widespread fraud.
Pelosi said she spoke with McCarthy and told him she would reject both names.
“Republicans will not be a party to their fictitious process and will instead continue our investigation of the facts,” McCarthy said in a statement, announcing that all five of his nominees would not sit on the committee.
Both Banks and Jordan Pelosi were accused of politics. In a statement, the banks accused the Speaker of Parliament of “forming this committee to harm the governors” and likened Jordan to the investigation with “three dismissals.”
Trump has been impeached twice by the House of Representatives and acquitted by the Senate both times.
Tension due to investigation
Pelosi’s decision is sure to further inflame bipartisan tension over the insurgency and the House committee that nearly all Republicans opposed.
Most members of the Republican Party remained loyal to Trump despite his supporters’ violent rebellion.
McCarthy did not say for weeks whether Republicans would be involved in the investigation, but on Monday he sent the five names to Pelosi.
In the statement, Pelosi said she accepted McCarthy’s three other choices: Representatives Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Troy Niles of Texas. All said later on Wednesday that they would not participate.
Like Jordan and Banks, Niles, who helped storm doors to the House floor during the uprising, voted to overturn Biden’s presidential victory. Armstrong and Davis voted to ratify the election.
McCarthy’s choices came after all but Republicans opposed a 13-person panel in last month’s House vote, with most of them in the Republican Party arguing that the Democratic majority committee would conduct a partisan investigation.
House Democrats originally tried to create an independent and equally divided committee to investigate the rebellion, but that effort failed when Senate Republicans blocked it.
The committee’s chair, Democratic Representative Benny Thompson of Mississippi, said the committee will have a quorum to conduct business whether or not GOP members are present.
Pelosi appointed eight members to the committee earlier this month — seven Democrats and Republican Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who has been a fierce critic of Trump and has been the most vocal member of her anti-insurgency caucus.
Cheney, who was demoted from the GOP leadership in May over her comments, was one of two Republicans to vote in favor of forming the committee, along with Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger.
The commission will hold its first hearing on July 27, when at least four military-ranking police officers who fought the rioters that day will testify about their experiences. Dozens of policemen were injured when the crowd advanced and stormed the Capitol.
Seven people were killed during and after the riots, including a woman shot by police as she tried to storm the House chamber and three other Trump supporters who had medical emergencies.
Two police officers died by suicide in the following days, and a third officer, Brian Skinnick, a Capitol Police officer, collapsed and later died after clashing with protesters. The coroner determined that he died of natural causes.