House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has vetoed two Republican nominees to the panel set to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Citing “statements and actions” made by the pair — Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio, Pelosi said she was rejecting their nominations “with respect for the integrity of the investigation.”
“The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision,” Pelosi said.
The two lawmakers were among five that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy nominated to the committee. Pelosi named one other GOP member, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, to the panel.
The House speaker said she would accept McCarthy’s other nominees: Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Troy Nehls of Texas.
Banks, Jordan and Nehls voted against certifying the election, the proceedings that the rioters disrupted.
McCarthy called Pelosi’s move “an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution.”
“Denying the voices of members who have served in the military and law enforcement, as well as leaders of standing committees, has made it undeniable that this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility and shows the Speaker is more interested in playing politics than seeking the truth,” he said in a statement. “Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts.”
Attempts to establish a bipartisan panel to look into the storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob have been marked by partisan squabbling. Senate Republicans blocked an attempt to name an independent commission, which led to a party-line vote to create a select committee.
The committee is one of several efforts to investigate what led to the insurrection and what happened that day. The federal investigation is one of the largest in history, with more than 500 arrests so far.
Pelosi said she spoke to McCarthy on Tuesday morning about the impact that Banks’ and Jordan’s appointments “may have on the integrity of the investigation.”
The Democratic members of the panel are Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the panel’s chair, and Reps. Zoe Lofgren of California, Adam Schiff of California, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Pete Aguilar of California, Stephanie Murphy of Florida and Elaine Luria of Virginia.
The panel is expected to hold its first hearing next week.