House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the power to veto the minority leader's picks.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday night named five Republicans to serve on a select committee to investigate the insurrection carried out by a mob of Donald Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Three of the five members McCarthy selected voted to block certification of President Joe Biden's victory, leading to questions about whether Democrats will accept McCarthy's choices.
McCarthy chose Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Jim Banks (R-IN), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), and Troy Nehls (R-TX) to serve on the committee to probe the origins of the insurrection and come up with ideas for how to prevent similar attacks in the future.
Of those members, Banks, Jordan, and Nehls were among the 147 GOP lawmakers who voted to block certification of Biden's Electoral College victory. votes that came after the insurrectionists violently attacked law enforcement to force their way into the Capitol to try to stop the peaceful transition of power.
Banks, who McCarthy named as the ranking member on the investigative panel, even wrote a Facebook post the day before the attack saying he was "looking forward to welcoming the thousands — maybe millions? — of supporters of Donald Trump" to the District of Columbia.
And after the attack, Banks posted a video in which he sought to justify the behavior of the mob, saying: "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. If we ignore that in the months and years to come, 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."
McCarthy made no comments in his post announcing the members to the committee. However, Banks released a statement in which he attacked the very committee he was selected to sit on.
He even tried to blame the insurrection on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the "Biden administration," which had not yet taken over as the inauguration was still weeks away when the Trump mob waged the attack.
"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.
"Even then, I will do everything possible to give the American people the fact about the lead up to January 6, the riot that day, and the responses from Capitol leadership and the Biden administration," Banks added, a bizarre comment given that it was the Trump administration that was in charge during the insurrection.
Pelosi has not yet commented on McCarthy's picks.
But the House speaker has veto power over his selections and has said she would use it if she felt they were out of bounds.
It's unclear whether she thinks members who voted to block certification of Biden's win are not able to effectively serve.
Other Democratic lawmakers, however, criticized McCarthy's picks — especially that of Banks, who propagated the lie that the 2020 election was stolen and defended his decision to vote to overturn Biden's win.
"The person Kevin McCarthy just chose to lead Republicans on the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack was on television continuing to spread the big lie months after the attack on the Capitol," Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) tweeted, along with a video of Banks from May in which Banks would not say whether Biden is the "legitimate" president.
Democrats launched the select committee to investigate the insurrection after Republicans blocked the creation of an independent and bipartisan outside commission to probe the attack.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has said some Republicans are against the creation of any investigative bodies because they fear they'll be implicated in the attack themselves.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.