It’s troubling the gathering of evidence on the biggest threat to the U.S. Capitol in recent history has been turned into a partisan cacophony.
On Wednesday Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two Republicans nominated to sit on the Jan. 6 panel investigating the rioting and insurrection at the Capitol. Pelosi warned GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy she would not approve two representatives who voted against certifying the election win for President Joe Biden.
Pelosi rejected the nominations of Indiana Rep. Jim Banks and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. Both are Trump loyalists, and Pelosi said she was concerned whether their earlier statements and actions would sully the integrity of the investigation. McCarthy withdrew all of his five nominees as a result saying Pelosi had abused her power, even though committee rules allow her to make such decisions.
Pelosi approved the other three Republican nominees to the panel, but McCarthy said either all or none would be seated. One of the other members approved by Pelosi voted against certifying the election and two others voted to certify. So Pelosi was not guilty of a blanket rejection.
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming agreed to be on the panel and will remain on it as it moves forward with a 13-member quorum.
An earlier proposal by Democrats to create a completely bipartisan panel with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats was favored by 35 House Republicans but was filibustered by Republicans in the Senate earlier this year, even though six Republicans voted in favor of the commission. The Senate Republican filibuster defeated the bipartisan plan. That forced Pelosi to set up the House panel through House rules.
So Republicans had their chance to be represented on two occasions but have chosen not to, with McCarthy saying the GOP will conduct its own investigation.
That may be useful to Americans who can compare and contrast the two investigations and decide for themselves who is credible and who is not.
Democrats made every effort to have a bipartisan panel, but when Republicans reject a plan to investigate the biggest threat to the U. S. Capitol in recent memory, Democrats, and Cheney, are right to move on.