- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 22, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted Thursday that she will not let the GOP’s obsession with former President Donald Trump get in the way of the Jan. 6 select committee investigation into the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Mrs. Pelosi said the select committee she has created will be focused on seeking the truth. With that in mind, the California Democrat said it was impossible for her to accept the appointments of Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy nominated the pair of Trump allies to the panel. Both have been critical of the proposed investigation. 

“We are there to get the truth, not to get Trump,” Mrs. Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill at her weekly briefing. “Trump seems to be what the other side is obsessed with,” she said.

“So as the legislation allows, I didn’t accept two of the people appointed as they had made statements and taken actions that I think would impact the integrity of the committee,” she said.

The comments came a day after Mrs. Pelosi announced she had vetoed the nomination of Mr. Jordan and Mr. Banks for the committee.

Mr. McCarthy responded by threatening to yank all five of the GOP members he picked for the committee — a group that included Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Troy Nehls of Texas.

If things do not change, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming would be the sole Republican on the committee. Mrs. Pelosi appointed Ms. Cheney and seven Democrats to the panel earlier this month. 

Mr. McCarthy named his committee picks after traveling to New Jersey late last week to meet with Mr. Trump, who has criticized efforts to investigate the attack on the Capitol. GOP critics fear the panel will become a partisan vehicle to score points against Mr. Trump. They argue that occasionally violent racial justice protests last year that targeted federal buildings should also be included in the panel’s probe.

Asked about Mr. McCarthy’s vow that the GOP would lead its own investigation, Mrs. Pelosi said dismissively, “Let’s not waste each other’s time.”

Mrs. Pelosi said she approved Mr. McCarthy’s three other picks for the committee, but suggested it was outrageous to think Mr. Jordan and Mr. Banks would be honest brokers given the comments they had made.

“When statements are ridiculous and fall into the realm of ‘You must be kidding,’ there is no way that they are going to be on the committee,” she said.

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

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