Republicans want five pro-Trump representatives on Capitol riot panel
House of Representatives Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has picked five Republicans to sit on the new select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol signalling that Republicans will participate in the investigation that they have staunchly opposed.
Mr McCarthy said he has selected Representative Jim Banks, who recently visited former President Donald Trump on trips to the US-Mexico border and Mr Trump’s New Jersey golf club, to be the top Republican on the panel.
The Republican leader also nominated Jim Jordan, Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong and Troy Nehls to serve on the committee.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi must approve the names before they are final, per committee rules.
An aide to Ms Pelosi said she has received notification from Mr McCarthy, but it is unclear when or if she will approve the Republican members.
The aide was granted anonymity to discuss the Republican picks ahead of an official announcement.
The five Republican men selected by Mr McCarthy have all backed Mr Trump, whose supporters laid siege to the Capitol building on January 6 and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.
Mr Banks, Mr Jordan and Mr Nehls all voted to overturn Mr Biden’s win that day, even after the rioting.
Mr Davis and Mr Armstrong were among the minority of Republicans who voted to certify Mr Biden’s win.
Mr McCarthy’s picks come after all but two Republicans opposed the creation of the 13-person select committee in a House vote last month, with most in the Republican Party arguing that the majority-Democratic panel would conduct a partisan probe.
House Democrats originally attempted to create an evenly split, independent commission to investigate the insurrection, but that effort fell short when it was blocked by Senate Republicans.
House Republicans have largely remained loyal to Mr Trump despite the violent insurrection of his supporters that sent many of them running for their lives.
Mr Banks made clear in a statement on Monday evening that he would take a politically combative approach to his leadership on the panel, sharply criticising the Democrats who had set it up.
“Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the Left’s authoritarian agenda,” Mr Banks said.
Mr Jordan, one of Mr Trump’s staunchest defenders through his two impeachments and the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said after the House vote to form the panel that he believed the investigation is “impeachment three” against the former president.
Mr Trump was impeached by the House and acquitted by the Senate both times.
The members selected by Mr McCarthy had mixed reactions to the insurrection as it happened on January 6.
While Mr Jordan led the effort to overturn election results, others tweeted to the rioters to end the violence or condemned it.