Though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) likely feels that Democrats are in the driver’s seat with regard to the congressional committee poised to probe the Jan. 6 unrest at the Capitol, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) just threw a wrench into her plans by selecting the five GOP lawmakers who will also sit on the panel, as the Washington Examiner reports.
According to Republican sources, McCarthy tapped Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana to serve as the party’s ranking member on the committee and also appointed Reps. Jim Jordan (OH), Rodney Davis (IL), Kelly Armstrong (ND), and Troy Nehls (TX).
These legislators will join eight other committee members previously selected by Pelosi to investigate the events of Jan.6, seven of whom are Democrats, and one of whom – Liz Cheney (WY) – is a Republican, as the Examiner noted.
Cheney, for her part, was one of just two Republican lawmakers to vote in favor of the committee’s creation last month, and she was also one of 10 GOP members to support the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump earlier this year, according to CNBC.
The panel is tasked with probing the root causes of the Capitol protests, including conducting a review of law enforcement responses, technological drivers of the events that took place, and possible ways of preventing future disturbances of a similar nature.
Republicans who opposed the committee’s formation long argued that the panel would be duplicative of efforts already initiated under the auspices of the Department of Justice as well as of existing congressional committees looking into the unrest.
McCarthy’s pick of Jordan is potentially noteworthy, given the Ohio lawmaker’s reputation as a staunch defender of Trump throughout his presidency and during his two impeachment battles. Rep. Banks is also viewed as a rising star in the GOP and currently serves as the head of the Republican Study Committee, as Forbes notes.
In remarking on his appointment to the panel, Banks declared, “Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the Left’s authoritarian agenda,” and he promised to focus on finding “the facts about the lead up to January 6, the riot that day, and the responses from Capitol leadership and the Biden administration.”
The committee’s first hearing is set to take place on July 27, and while Pelosi retains final say over appointments to the committee, McCarthy’s picks offer conservatives real cause for optimism that the proceedings will not be allowed to devolve into little more than partisan theatrics.