House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy made the choice to pull all of his members from the committee that's probing the insurrection.
House Republicans who were slated to be on the select committee to probe the Jan. 6 insurrection held a news conference Tuesday morning to complain they are being shut out from the probe.
But the fact that there are no allies of former President Donald Trump on the committee was a choice made by the GOP. It was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who decided to pull all of his members from the investigative panel.
"It's with great disappointment today that I don't get to question my friend Harry Dunn," Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), one of McCarthy's picks for the committee, said at the news conference, referring to a law enforcement officer who is testifying about the Jan. 6 events at the committee's first hearing on Tuesday. "We don't get to ask the questions that will lead to why there was not a better security posture here on the Capitol complex."
Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX), another Republican McCarthy appointed to the committee before he chose to pull his members out in protest, similarly said he is upset that he cannot ask questions on Tuesday. He said he wanted to understand why police were not prepared for the siege from the pro-Trump mob.
But Davis and Nehls did have the chance to ask questions. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not block those men from being seated on the committee; she only refused to seat two of McCarthy's picks, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jim Banks (R-IN), citing "an insistence on the truth" and "concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members."
But there appeared to be other conflicts as well.
Jordan reportedly spoke to Trump during the attack, making him a potential material witness to the event the committee is probing, according to remarks made by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) today.
Banks had released a statement after his selection by McCarthy slamming the probe.
"Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the Left's authoritarian agenda," Banks wrote in a statement.
Despite the complaints issued at the press conference, some Republicans do get to ask questions at the hearing.
Two GOP lawmakers — Cheney and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) — are both on the committee, after being appointed by Pelosi.
Both have vowed to make sure the investigation is taken seriously and produces a legitimate report while accusing McCarthy of aiming to do the opposite: stonewalling the investigation to protect Trump.
”There are some in my party, including Leader McCarthy, who continue to act as though this is about partisan politics," Cheney said Tuesday morning on ABC News. "I think it's really sad. I think it's a disgrace."
Without McCarthy's picks on the committee, Trump loyalists in the GOP won't have a mouthpiece to continue attacks on the investigation.
"At every step in this process Kevin McCarthy has acted in bad faith, shown loyalty to the person of Donald Trump rather than the United States of America, and told shameful lie after shameful lie," Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) tweeted Tuesday after the GOP complaints about being shut out of the committee. "We need to be clear about that. Kevin McCarthy is lying."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.