Pelosi rejects 2 GOP lawmakers from Capitol riot committee over election lies

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The House speaker rejected the appointments of GOP Reps. Jim Banks and Jim Jordan, both of whom voted to overturn the Joe Biden's win, and spread the lie that the 2020 election was stolen.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday announced that she was rejecting two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's picks for the select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection, saying the appointments compromised the "integrity of the investigation."

Pelosi nixed the nominations of Republican Reps. Jim Banks (IN) and Jim Jordan (OH). Both men — who are close allies of former President Donald Trump — voted to block certification of President Joe Biden's victory, and pushed the lie that the election was stolen.

"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 wrote in a statement. "The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision."

Pelosi always had veto power over who McCarthy wanted to put on the select committee, which Democrats created after Republicans blocked formation of an independent and bipartisan commission to probe the violent attack at the Capitol. The speaker had said previously that she wouldn't hesitate to use that veto power if she felt McCarthy's picks were beyond the pale.

Pelosi accepted three of McCarthy's five picks, Reps. Rodney Davis (IL), Troy Nehls (TX), and Kelly Armstrong (ND).

Banks, for his part, wrote in a Facebook post one day before the Jan. 6 attack that he was "looking forward to welcoming the thousands — maybe millions? — of supporters of Donald Trump" to the District of Columbia.

After the insurrection, Banks then expressed sympathy for the Trump-supporting mob, which had tried to prevent a peaceful transition of power by blocking Congress from certifying Biden's election win that day.

"There was a deep-seated resentment that was growing throughout America. We saw that come to life today in the nation’s Capitol in a big way," Banks said after the attack, which left more than 140 law enforcement officers injured and caused millions in damage to the building itself.

"If we ignore that in the months and years to come," he added, "it is only going to get worse if our nation’s leaders don’t pay attention to that resentment, especially if what I believe is going to happen."

Additionally, after he was appointed to the investigative committee, Banks suggested he would work to muddy the investigation, making comments about how he needed to better understand the response of the Biden administration — which was not yet in charge when the insurrection took place.

"Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the Left's authoritarian agenda," Banks wrote in the statement.

Jordan, for his part, attended a "stop the steal" rally before the insurrection that helped gin up anger among the pro-Trump crowd, which falsely believed that the election was stolen.

McCarthy has since spoken out in response to Pelosi's vetoes, stating on Wednesday, "This represents an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution. ... 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."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.