House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today rejected two of the five Republicans House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had tapped for the House select committee created last month to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.
Based on how the panel was created, Pelosi is able to appoint eight members to the committee and McCarthy has five slots "in consultation" with Pelosi — meaning the speaker had the option to veto his selections.
Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday she was vetoing the appointment of two of the five Republicans appointed by McCarthy: Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana.
Both are allies of Trump and had objected to the certification of the November 2020 election in the House on Jan. 6. McCarthy had selected Banks, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, to be the top Republican on the panel.
"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 said in a statement. "The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision."
The committee will still have Republican representation from one member: Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, an outspoken critic of former President Trump who was one of Pelosi's eight choices to serve on the committee. Cheney's participation keeps the committee bipartisan even without anyone appointed by McCarthy.
But the lack of Republicans appointed by McCarthy on the panel means there will no longer be Trump allies when the committee holds high-profile hearings on the Jan. 6 attack.
Still, Pelosi's move gives House Republicans an avenue to attack the select committee as a partisan endeavor. McCarthy slammed the move shortly after it was announced Wednesday, and said that unless the House Speaker "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."
Democrats on the select committee defended Pelosi's decision, saying McCarthy could still appoint members who would take the investigation seriously.
Next week's hearing: The select committee is slated to have its first hearing on Tuesday. Committee members will hear from Capitol Police officers Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell as well as Metropolitan Police Department officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges about their experiences on Jan. 6.
Spokesperson Drew Hammill told CNN that next week's hearing with the four officers on the frontlines of Jan. 6 is not being delayed.
Read more about where things stand with the Jan. 6 committee here.