WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy says the GOP won’t participate in a House investigation of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol if Democrats won’t accept the members he appointed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday rejected two of McCarthy’s five picks to the panel, Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, who was tapped to be the top Republican on the panel, and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.
McCarthy said in a statement that Pelosi’s move was “an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution.”
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is rejecting two Republicans tapped by House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy to sit on a committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing the “integrity” of the probe.
Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday that she would not accept the appointments of Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, whom McCarthy picked to be the top Republican on the panel, or Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. Both are close allies of former President Donald Trump, whose supporters laid siege to the Capitol that day.
In the hours after the insurrection, both Banks and Jordan voted to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Pelosi said she had spoken with McCarthy and told him that she would reject the two names.
“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 to the Select Committee,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi has the authority to approve or reject members, per committee rules, though she acknowledged her moved was “unprecedented.” She said in the statement that she had accepted McCarthy’s three other picks — Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong and Texas Rep. Troy Nehls.
Like Jordan and Banks, Nehls voted to overturn Biden’s victory. Armstrong and Davis voted to certify the election.
Banks recently traveled with Trump to the U.S.-Mexico border and to visit him at his New Jersey golf course. Jordan was one of Trump’s most vocal defenders in his two impeachments.