White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s decision to pull Republican members from the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6, telling reporters on board Air Force One Wednesday, the President “strongly supports” an investigation into the events of the Capitol riot.
“First, we stated at the time our disappointment that there wasn’t bipartisan support for a select committee when there was an opportunity to vote for that,” Psaki said, “And we also have long stated our support for Speaker Pelosi and getting to the bottom of what happened on January 6, a dark day in our democracy, and we support her efforts for moving forward on that initiative.”
Shortly before the President departed for Ohio, White House spokesperson Michael Gwin told CNN’s Phil Mattingly, “The President has made clear that the shameful events of January 6th deserve a full, independent, and transparent investigation to ensure something like that never happens again, and he has full confidence in the Speaker’s ability to lead that work.”
Some more context: Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy decided to pull all five of his selections from the Jan. 6 select committee shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would reject two of his selected members—Congressmen Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana.
McCarthy said that Republicans “will run our own investigation” into what happened on Jan. 6. The select committee will still have Republican representation from one member, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was appointed by Pelosi.
Psaki dismissed the suggestion that detractors may dismiss any findings of the select committee as partisan, telling reporters in the Wednesday briefing, “I think many Americans across the country, regardless of their political affiliation, look at the events of January 6th as a dark day in our democracy.”
“The President strongly supports taking steps to get to the bottom of what happened so that we can prevent it from happening in the future,” Psaki added.
Asked by reporters for her reaction to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to reject Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana from serving on the select committee that’s investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, Vice President Kamala Harris said “I absolutely respect Speaker Pelosi and her ability to lead, and support that.”
“…And there is no question in my mind, and I think most people’s mind, that the American people deserve to have a thorough, a full, fair and transparent process of getting down to what happened on Jan. 6. How it occurred, who was responsible, so that we can make sure that history does not repeat itself. That is in the best interest of all Americans,” Harris continued during a meeting with poll workers and election officials at the White House on Wednesday.
Harris also told those in attendance at the meeting that they are upholding some of the most important tenants of our democracy and asked them to share some of the challenges they have faced carrying out elections, specifically threats they faced surrounding the 2020 election.
Rep. Jim Jordan, who House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blocked from serving on the Jan. 6 select committee, pinned the lack of security presence at the Capitol during the riot on Pelosi.
Reiterating the line of questioning he would pursue if on the committee, Jordan asked, “why wasn’t there a proper security presence at the Capitol that day” adding, “only one person can answer that question. Only one. The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.”
Remember: While Pelosi was House Speaker on Jan. 6, the President was still Donald Trump, the Senate was in GOP control, and Mitch McConnell was still Majority Leader. Pelosi had no control over the mobilization of the National Guard, and protesters were at the Capitol trying to stop members of Congress from certifying the 2020 election.
Jordan told reporters that his “hunch” for why Democrats don’t want to address that question is because “the Democrats normalized anarchy.” Jordan then pinned the protests and violence of last summer on Democrats.
Rep. Jim Banks, the other Republican Pelosi rejected from serving on the select committee, said her move is “entirely a political exercise on her part.”
“It’s not an exercise in finding the facts and that’s what’s unfortunate” Banks added.
“The question that all of us should be asking: what is the Speaker afraid of?”
Rep. Kelly Armstrong, one of McCarthy’s picks that Pelosi did not reject from the committee said, “we have credibility with the American people,” and argued that Pelosi’s decision shows that she holds an “iron grip” on the House.
Asked by CNN why he opposed the failed bipartisan Capitol riot independent commission if he really wants to get to the bottom of what happened on Jan. 6, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said it’s because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the time played politics with the scope of that now moot commission.
“That’s why people objected,” McCarthy said, referring to Democrats’ objections to including the attack on Good Friday that led to the death of fallen Officer William “Billy” Evans, among other reasons.
McCarthy also argued that Pelosi played politics and took too long to get the committee together, stating that Rep. Rodney Davis, who McCarthy had appointed to serve on the committee, requested an investigation as early as Jan. 13.
From the perspective of Democrats and Pelosi however, the Republicans were the ones who were trying to delay the bipartisan commission from being formed and getting underway.
Separately, House Intelligence Chair and Select Committee member Adam Schiff told reporters that Pelosi made the right decision to reject Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks from the select committee.
“The two of them were clearly selected just to be disruptive, and that’s not acceptable,” Schiff said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the only way to reverse his decision to pull his 5 GOP members from the Jan. 6 committee is for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to include all of his picks into the committee.
“The only way to reverse this is seat these five. That’s the only way,” he said.
McCarthy pledged the GOP’s own probe “will answer all the questions” surrounding the Jan. 6 riot.
When asked how this move helps officers and the families affected by the Capitol riot, McCarthy said it is “politics by Pelosi.”
“What helps them is we will go forward just as I promised them, and we’ll get the answer to those questions. We’ll make sure they’re protected,” he said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that Republicans “will run our own investigation” into what happened on Jan. 6 after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected Rep. Jim Banks and Jim Jordan from serving on the select committee.
McCarthy added that Pelosi is acting exactly how he feared she would, by playing politics.
He told reporters that the reason Pelosi gave him for why she objected to Jordan and Banks serving on the select committee was because “her members didn’t want her to have these people.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of creating a partisan committee following her rejection of two GOP members to the Jan. 6 select committee in his remarks during a news conference.
“Speaker Pelosi has taken the unprecedented step of denying the minority party’s picks for the select committee on Jan. 6… It’s an egregious abuse of power. Pelosi has broken this institution. Denying the voice of members who have served in the military. Jim Banks, a Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan, chair of the largest caucus of the Republican conference and law enforcement, as well as the leader of a standing committee… Jim Jordan has served on select committees and serves on one now. Made it undeniable this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility,” McCarthy said.
“I may object to the people that she put on the committee, but I respect her right to do it. Just as every leader has done before,” McCarthy added.
Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is holding a news conference after he announced he is pulling his five Republican members selected to join the House committee that’s investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.
He is joined at his news conference by all five members he originally picked for the select committee. They are:
- Rep. Jim Banks
- Rep. Jim Jordan
- Rep. Rodney Davis
- Rep. Kelly Armstrong
- Rep. Troy Nehls
Republicans never wanted to take part on the select committee — and were opposed to it from the start. If they were on the committee, they would be forced to confront complicated questions over Trump’s role in Jan. 6.
Now they believe they can easily paint the probe as a witch-hunt and not have any role in it.
“A total gift,” one senior GOP source said.
“A big mistake,” another Republican source said.