House Republican leaders continue to assert that an investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot should explore the failures of Democratic House leadership to prepare for the attack.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise blamed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for failing to secure the Capitol building ahead of the Jan. 6 electoral vote count during a Tuesday morning press conference. They also repeated claims that the special committee organized by Democratic leadership will not fairly investigate the breach.
“On Jan. 6, brave officers were put in a vulnerable and impossible position, because leadership at the top has failed,” McCarthy said. “We now have a committee, that all of America wants to know the answer to. Why were we ill-prepared for that day? And how can we make sure that it will never happen again?”
What you won’t hear from Pelosi’s sham committee:
Why was the Capitol left so vulnerable that day?
Why wasn’t the National Guard here?
Why didn’t we have a better security posture?
What changes are needed to make sure it never happens again? https://t.co/OSGF6PQx3s
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 27, 2021
“But unfortunately Speaker Pelosi will only take people onto the committee who will ask the questions she wants asked. That becomes a failed committee and a failed report. A sham no one can believe. If you want the true answers do not be afraid of the questions that get asked and drive the evidence to wherever it comes forward,” McCarthy added.
Pelosi initially granted herself eight nominations and McCarthy five. She chose seven Democrats, including House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff and Trump impeachment manager Jamie Raskin, to serve on the committee. Pelosi also chose Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who was removed from her position as Republican Conference Chairwoman over her repeated criticisms of former President Donald Trump and McCarthy.
McCarthy nominated Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, Texas Rep. Troy Nehls, North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong, and Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis. Pelosi rejected Jordan’s and Banks’ nominations, however, leading McCarthy to pull his other three nominees.
Pelosi then nominated Republican Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, another frequent critic of Trump and McCarthy. She later suggested that she could name other Republicans. (RELATED: ‘She’s Broken Congress’: McCarthy Slams Pelosi After Tapping Cheney, Kinzinger For Jan. 6 Committee)
During the press conference Tuesday, Scalise blamed “cancel culture” for the rejections of Banks and Jordan.
“For weeks now, Jim Jordan and Jim Banks have been raising some very tough questions, questions that need to be answered, about why Speaker Pelosi did not ensure that Capitol Police had all the tools they needed to be prepared for that day,” the House Minority Whip said. “Now maybe because they were raising those questions, they got canceled, by this new cancel culture that we see moving across the country, and led by Speaker Pelosi and many of her socialist allies.”
“They were starting to raise those questions,” Scalise continued. “These kind of actions taken by Speaker Pelosi to cover up the facts that she doesn’t want out there have completely debased this commission.”
McCarthy alleged that Pelosi rejected Banks and Jordan because she did not want them to probe her decision-making in the weeks before the riot.
“On Dec. 14, the leadership knew there was a problem. Even prior to that, an inspector general report told us there was failed leadership at the top of the police,” McCarthy said. “There’s questions into the leadership within the structure of the Speaker’s office, when they denied the ability to bring the National Guard here.”
Former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving said that he received a request to call in the National Guard was not approved until after 2 p.m., although Pelosi’s office claims that she approved the request at 1:43 p.m. Multiple sources have alleged that Democratic Party leadership was concerned about the optics of heavily armed police and troops controlling peaceful protesters. (RELATED: Sources: ‘Conversations’ Pelosi Had With Sgt At Arms About National Guard Presence Factored Into ‘Blender Of Decision Making’ That Led Up To Riot)
Democratic Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, who will chair the special committee, wrote in the Washington Post that “nothing will be off-limits” but that he would “not be distracted by politically motivated sideshows.”
Cheney expressed support for Pelosi’s rejections of Jordan and Banks. “At every opportunity, the Minority Leader has attempted to prevent the American people from understanding what happened,” she said. “There are three members that the Minority Leader proposed that the Speaker did not object to. She has objected to two members and the rhetoric around this from the Minority Leader and from those two members has been disgraceful.”
“The Republicans want to participate, with the Republicans that are able to be on the committee, that have the jurisdiction, that have the knowledge, and have the ability to ask the tough questions that will get answered,” McCarthy said at the press conference. “But unfortunately, we start with a committee chair that will tell you that everything is on the table except the Speaker’s office. How can you get to the bottom of the questions? How can you ever get to the solutions to make sure the Capitol is never put in this position again?”