On Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., nominated Reps. Jim Jordan, Jim Banks, Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong and Troy Nehls to serve on the select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
This is the same Jim Jordan — who, you might remember, served on the House select committee investigating Hillary Clinton, I mean Benghazi — who actually opposed the creation of Jan. 6 committee.
This is the same Jim Jordan — who, you might remember, served on the House select committee investigating Hillary Clinton, I mean Benghazi — who actually opposed the creation of Jan. 6 committee, saying, “I know I’ve got real concerns … that this is all just political, and that this is impeachment three against President Trump.”
It’s also the same Jim Jordan who returned to the House floor in the immediate aftermath of the insurrection and voted against the certification of the free and fair election of President Joe Biden. Of course, he was far from alone. 147 Republicans, including Banks and Nehls, voted to overturn America’s legitimate election, an overwhelming endorsement of the same big lie that fueled the attack hours earlier.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., rejected McCarthy’s nominations of Jordan and Banks and released a pointed, definitive explanation: “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. The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”
Cue the roar of faux outrage.
McCarthy’s response amounted to taking his ball and leaving the playground, indicating that unless the speaker relented, he would not appoint any members to the committee. The Republican leader went as far as to say, “Pelosi has broken the institution.”
When it comes to breaking the “institution” of Congress and democratic norms, Kevin McCarthy has been riding shotgun with former President Donald Trump for years. Where was the outrage when the former president took a wrecking ball to checks and balances? Where was the outrage when the GOP tried to commit a coup on the House floor? Where was the outrage when Republican colleagues framed an FBI-labeled domestic terrorist event as a “normal tourist visit?” Where was the outrage when Republicans tried to rebrand these terrorists as “patriots?”
Outside of a very small handful of Republicans like Reps. Liz Cheney (who was appointed to the committee by the speaker) and Adam Kinzinger (who would be a great addition to the committee if McCarthy wants to forfeit his slots), the GOP has acted as democratic arsonists for a while now. What we saw on Jan. 6 was the culmination of years of the Republican Party’s embrace of extremism.
Outside of a very small handful of Republicans like Rep. Liz Cheney, the GOP has acted as democratic arsonists for a while now.
It’s important to remember Republicans had every opportunity to act as equal partners in a bipartisan investigation. But when presented with the opportunity to create a 9/11-style commission to examine the Capitol attack, they voted against it. The people who made this partisan were the Republicans.
McCarthy, Jordan and Banks can complain all they want about being excluded from this investigation, but asking them to be a part of this committee would be like asking members of Al Qaeda to join the 9/11 commission. You don’t get to support (or commit) the crime and then expect to be part of the investigation.
For years, Republicans have felt they could run roughshod over Democrats. There remains a widespread belief that Democrats simply don’t have the stomach for a fight that way. That sentiment has allowed the GOP to act like bullies in the school yard.
Well, Pelosi is pushing back.
Republicans will now label the select committee a “partisan witch hunt” and attack any of the findings or revelations it puts forward. Some pundits have posited that this is a political “gift” offered up by Pelosi.
Spoiler alert: Republicans were going to do that anyway. Better to at least let the committee conduct its business and have hearings without Jordan and Banks interrupting the proceedings every five minutes with their angry, incomprehensible rantings.
Meanwhile, the committee will begin its work Tuesday and has asked members of the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department who were on duty on Jan. 6 to testify. Dare these “law and order” Republicans to attack these heroes? If the GOP wants to side with domestic terrorists over our own people in uniform, let them. The men and women who protected and served lawmakers on a chaotic and deadly day are coming to Congress to talk about their experience. Let the record show Republicans were too cowardly to show up and listen.