Days after rejecting two of five Republican appointments to the select committee charged with probing the Capitol unrest of Jan. 6, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced her selection of GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL) to join the panel in a move Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said “destroyed” any credibility the group may have had, as The Hill reports.
Pelosi communicated her plan to invite the Illinois Never-Trump lawmaker to participate in the committee during her Sunday appearance on ABC’s This Week, according to the Washington Examiner, giving some insight into how she would proceed after refusing to accept the appointment of Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) to serve on the panel, issuing a statement solidifying the decision soon after.
“Today, I am announcing the appointment of Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran and Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard, to serve on the Select Committee,” the House speaker said, adding that the congressman “brings great patriotism to the Committee’s mission: to find the facts and protect our Democracy.”
In announcing that he had “humbly accepted” Pelosi’s invitation to serve as the only other Republican aside from Trump foe Rep. Liz Cheney (WY), Kinzinger argued, “This moment requires a serious, clear-eyed, non-partisan approach,” saying that the panel is “duty-bound to conduct a full investigation on the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814 and to make sure it can never happen again.”
Not surprisingly, McCarthy blasted both Pelosi’s choice and Kinzinger’s acceptance, saying, according to The Hill, “Speaker Pelosi’s rejection of the Republican nominees to serve on the committee and self-appointment of members who share her pre-conceived narrative will not yield a serious investigation,” adding that the California Democrat “has structured this select committee to satisfy her political objectives.”
“Speaker Pelosi’s departure from this serious-minded approach has destroyed the select committee’s credibility,” McCarthy said. “The U.S. Capitol and the men and women who protect it suffered a massive leadership failure. We must make sure that never happens again and that is what Republicans will be focused on,” he added.
Upon Pelosi’s rejection of two of his picks for the committee, McCarthy pulled the remaining Republican appointments, and he is now facing pressure from certain members of his caucus to sanction Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger for agreeing to serve on the speaker’s committee, as the Daily Mail noted on Monday.
Speaking to reporters at a White House event, McCarthy referred to Cheney and Kinzinger as “Pelosi Republicans” and when asked if some form of formal punishment – such as removal of their committee assignments – awaited the the two lawmakers, he replied, “we’ll see.”
The select committee is slated to hold its first hearing on Tuesday, and no target date for an end to the panel’s work and the production of a report has been set. However, given Pelosi’s decision to exclude McCarthy’s choices for Republican representation, a highly-partisan, politically motivated final product seems all but assured.