Republican House leaders on Tuesday accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of putting together a partisan committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riots to press her narrative of events that day and to cover up her role in security lapses involving the Capitol Police.
“Two questions for this entire committee should be. Why were we so ill prepared for that day? And how can we make sure this never happens again?” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said at a Capitol press conference an hour before the select committee was scheduled to begin its first hearing.
“And that’s what should drive the committee. If there may be build up before that day that you’re going to have to investigate, Speaker Pelosi worked six months trying to make sure that would never happen,” he said, adding that the panel will not investigate the killing of a Capitol Police officer in April when he was rammed by a car.
“Why wouldn’t we then ask the tough questions and make sure the Capital Police have the resources, the training and the equipment that is what’s being withheld and that’s what we complain about,” said McCarthy, of California.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the minority whip in the House, said Pelosi rejected McCarthy’s selection of GOP Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana because they were asking “tough questions” about what led up to and what happened on Jan. 6.
“But what we’re here to talk about today is Speaker Pelosi’s constant attempt to cover up facts that she doesn’t want out there. For weeks now, Jim Jordan and Jim banks have been raising some very tough questions, questions that need to be answered about why Speaker Pelosi didn’t make sure that Capitol Police had all the tools they needed to be prepared for that day,” Scalise said at the presser.
He suggested Pelosi removed the two Republicans on the panel because they were seeking the truth about how unprepared the Capitol Police were to handle the mobs that day.
“Now maybe because they were raising those questions, they got canceled by this new cancel culture that we see moving throughout the country led by Speaker Pelosi and a lot of our socialist allies here in Congress, where they want to shut out voices that raise tough questions that they don’t want to be asked or answered,” he said.
After Pelosi pulled Jordan and Banks, both of whom are allies of former President Donald Trump, McCarthy withdrew his other choices – Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of South Dakota and Troy Nehls of Texas.
Pelosi then tapped GOP Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois as the only two Republicans on the select committee.
“So as we see these kind of actions taken by Speaker Pelosi to cover up the facts that she doesn’t want out there. It has completely debased the legitimacy of this commission, because clearly they’re not searching for the truth. They’re searching to get a narrative of that Speaker Pelosi has already written,” Scalise said.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said Pelosi is putting her own “partisan politics over what’s best for the American people.”
“She’s an authoritarian who has broken the people’s house. She is a lame duck speaker, and everyone knows it. The reason why Nancy Pelosi is refusing to seek to accomplish and well-respected hard working Republicans like Jim Jordan and Jim Banks is because she doesn’t want the American people to know the truth or learn the facts. She doesn’t want a fair or bipartisan investigation. She wants a political one,” said Stefanik, the No. 3 Republican leader in the House.
She said the speaker was informed about potential security threats to the Capitol in December 2020 but didn’t act on them.
“It is a fact that the US Capitol Police raised concerns, and rather than providing them with the support and resources they needed and they deserved, she prioritized her partisan political optics over their safety,” Stefanik said.