- The Washington Times - Monday, July 19, 2021

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has named the Republican members who will sit on the Jan. 6 special commission, and they include conservative firebrand Jim Jordan of Ohio.

A spokesman for Mr. McCarthy, and later Mr. Jordan himself, confirmed Monday evening that Mr. Jordan, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, will be one of the five minority-party members to sit on the panel that will investigate the attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

The ranking Republican on the special panel, the spokesman said, will be Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

The other members, all of whom had been identified by CNN and Politico before official confirmation, were Reps. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, Rodney Davis of Illinois and Troy Nehls of Texas.

The picks come a few days after Mr. McCarthy, who had been coy about them, met with Mr. Trump in New Jersey. The trip added to speculation over whether the California Republican would tap pro-Trump lawmakers to the panel.

Mr. Jordan has been among the most vocal supporters of Mr. Trump, who has returned the favor by constantly showering him with public praise.

His office responded to the appointment by issuing a statement containing only of a tape of old footage of Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, including some current House members, questioning the 2016 election results, insinuating that that election had been stolen, and accusing Mr. Trump of being a Russian agent.

Mr. Banks, meanwhile, recently traveled to the U.S. Mexico border with Mr. Trump. The border visit was billed as a chance to highlight the shortcomings of the Biden administration’s approach to immigration, but also served as a chance for Mr. Trump to reiterate his claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

Mr. Jordan, Mr. Banks and Mr. Nehls all voted against the certification of state election results, along with over 100 of their House GOP colleagues.

Democrats and a small number of Republicans have blamed Mr. Trump’s stolen election claims for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

All Republican appointees to the panel are subject to the veto of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who established the panel unilaterally under her authority as speaker.

The panel will have another Republican member, albeit one chosen by the Democrats — Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was ousted from her leadership position in the GOP over a cluster of issues related to Mr. Trump, the Jan. 6 riot and the Republican Party’s response to both.

The panel is expected to be highly contentious as the two parties do not even agree on the preferred scope of the investigation and Democrats see the riot as an unprecedented and treasonous insurrection whipped up by Mr. Trump. Indeed, some conservatives had urged Mr. McCarthy and the House Republicans to name no members in boycott of an illegitimate exercise.

Mr. McCarthy is betting that the reward will outweigh the risk of staying in the good graces of Mr. Trump, who opposes the panel and is expected to be a key player in the GOP’s quest to flip the House in the 2022 midterm elections.

Mr. McCarthy helped torpedo a previous plan to create a bipartisan 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack, citing other congressional investigations into the day’s events. He also called for the probe to be expanded to include other instances of violence around the country.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide