House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now rejecting the appointments of both Banks and Jordan. In a statement, she says she has spoken with McCarthy and “requested” that he recommend two other Republicans to fill those spots. Republican Reps. Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong, and Troy Nehls were not objected to—even though Nehls, like Banks and Jordan, was one of the House Republicans who voted to object to the election’s certification in the hours immediately after the Capitol had been cleared of violent Trump rioters.
While Pelosi did not explicitly specify the reasons for rejecting Banks and Jordan, the reasons are self-evident. Banks’ statement upon being nominated to the committee rejected the very purpose of the committee and vowed to unilaterally expand its scope by demanding the committee review Black Lives Matters-inspired protests while declaring that “Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the Left’s authoritarian agenda.”
Having made it clear that he believed his primary task on the committee was to weaken its focus and discredit its results, it’s little wonder that Pelosi deemed him an unacceptably irresponsible choice.
The case against Jordan is also clear. After surviving revelations of complicity in the sexual assault of college athletes, largely through his own belligerence, Trump ally Jim Jordan became a go-to provocateur for disrupting Trump impeachment investigations, congressional oversight investigations, and any other probes of Trump administration malfeasance. He would be a natural Republican pick to attack and deflect any portion of the probe that touched upon the connections between the Trump White House, the organizers of the “March” to the Capitol, and the militia members who most engaged in violence during the attempt to block the transfer of presidential power. He has a history of rank dishonesty, intentional disruption, belligerent nonsense production, and general shitbaggery in past efforts to sabotage congressional probes, and his presence on this new, vital committee would immediately render it unserious. So he’s out.
In what was likely a pre-planned response, Rep. Kevin McCarthy immediately announced that he would be pulling all five Republican-recommended committee members in response to Pelosi’s rejection of the two saboteurs. This is consistent with all previous Republican strategies of blocking all congressionally backed probes of the Republican-backed insurrection.
The Pelosi response will likely be either to allow the committee to begin its business with no Republican-backed members or to appoint, as with her appointment of Rep. Liz Cheney, Republican members willing to buck their party’s attempted sabotage of the probe. That doesn’t mean she will be able to find such people; House Republicans have been thorough in retaliating against members who have gone against their fascist push to claim that the insurrection was not an insurrection, that it was not done by the Trump supporters who have now been arrested for doing it, and that the U.S. presidential election ought to have been overturned to begin with.
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