Republicans will conduct their own investigation of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) refused to cooperate with a bipartisan investigation set to begin next week.
McCarthy said Republicans would boycott the select committee investigation in favor of their own because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejected two of his five appointees and asked him to name replacements.
“Pelosi has broken this institution,” McCarthy said. “This panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility.”
He dodged a question about whether the Republicans would examine former President Donald Trump’s role in the day’s events.
“We will look at anything that caused this place to not be protected,” McCarthy said.
Pelosi only moved to create the select committee after McCarthy himself refused to support an investigation commission with outside experts who would have been equally appointed by Republicans and Democrats. Senate Republicans ultimately blocked the bill that would have created the commission.
The select committee will still be bipartisan, since Pelosi herself appointed seven Democrats and one Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).
McCarthy said his committee, which will be entirely Republican, will answer two main questions: Why was the Capitol so ill-prepared for the attack on Jan. 6, despite advance warnings, and what should be done to make sure another attack doesn’t happen again?
It’s a clear effort to delegitimize scrutiny of Trump, who incited the Jan. 6 attack on Congress with lies about election fraud and claims that Congress could somehow keep him in power when lawmakers certified the results that day.
Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the two members Pelosi rejected from the select committee, claimed this week that Democrats have “ignored” questions about why the Capitol was so vulnerable to attack because they’re afraid of the answers, as though Democrats had somehow caused the police to be unprepared.
A bipartisan investigation by two Senate committees focused exclusively on the Capitol security failure. Among other things, that report faulted intelligence agencies for failing to share what they’d heard about the pending attack, a clunky Capitol Police leadership structure, and a failure to train officers in dealing with a riot situation.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), one of the members of the select committee, said he didn’t know what Republicans are implying with their claims that Democrats fear the truth about that day.
“We pushed for an independent 9/11-style commission with no elected officials on it. Five Republicans, five Democrats, equal subpoena power, and the Republicans blocked it,” Raskin told HuffPost. “So who is not interested in the truth, and why?”