House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy voted earlier against a bipartisan outside investigation into the Capitol insurrection.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is furiously claiming that a newly authorized select committee to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection will be "the least bipartisan committee you can find." But just seven years ago, he voted for a nearly identical investigation into attacks against the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.
On Fox News on Thursday night, McCarthy (R-CA) was asked about the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, created last Wednesday by a majority vote in the House of Representatives over his objections.
"Think about the structure. It's not an equal number of Republicans or Democrats," McCarthy complained. "She [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] appointed [Reps.] Adam Schift [sic] and [Jamie] Raskin. This is a impeachment committee. Only Democrats have subpoena power. The speaker has control over anyone who is appointed. She appoints everyone, just with 'consultation' with Republicans."
The process of establishing the committee is indeed set up such that Pelosi determines the membership, with five of the 13 members chosen after consultation with McCarthy; the chair of the committee determines what subpoenas to issue.
But that was modeled closely on the structure of the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi, established in 2014 by the then-Republican majority, with the full support of McCarthy, who was GOP whip at the time.
In establishing that panel, too, the House speaker got to appoint 12 members, "five of whom shall be appointed after consultation with the minority leader."
For that panel too, the chair had the power "to authorize and issue subpoenas."
Schiff (D-CA) served on the Benghazi committee, as did GOP flamethrowers such as Ohio's Jim Jordan, Donald Trump's future Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and future Fox News host Trey Gowdy.
The Benghazi panel consisted of seven Republicans and five Democrats. Pelosi has already appointed Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney to one of her eight seats, indicating that this panel will likely consist of seven Democrats and six Republicans.
McCarthy's complaint that the committee is not "bipartisan" comes after he and 174 other House Republicans voted on May 19 against a bill that would have created an evenly bipartisan national commission to investigate the attack on Jan. 6, one that would have closely mirrored one contained in a GOP-backed bill as well as the panel created in 2002 to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Although majorities in the House and the Senate backed the bill, Republicans in the Senate used a filibuster to block the creation of an independent commission.
A McCarthy spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions about what made this an "impeachment committee."
Then-President Trump was impeached for a second time in January by a House vote of 232–197 for inciting the insurrection at the Capitol. On Feb. 13, after he had already left office, the Senate acquitted him of the charges, with only 57 senators voting to convict, short of the needed 67.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.