February 3, 2023

House Minority Group leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Speaks during his press conference on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

Bill Clark | CQ Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday threatened to withdraw all his selections for the special committee investigating the January 6 invasion of the Capitol unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sets the two rejected by her Republicans back on.

Less than an hour earlier, Pelosi announced that it had warned GOP Reps Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana, two of McCarthy’s five picks, from participating in the House of Representatives investigation into the fatal riot attempt by a mob of former President Donald Trump has refused supporters.

Pelosi, D-Calif., Said in a statement that it made this decision “with respect for the integrity of the investigation” and “with an insistence on the truth and with concern about the statements and actions of these members.”

On the same day of the January 6 invasion, in which hundreds of Trump supporters broke into the Capitol to stop President Joe Biden’s confirmation of the election, both Jordan and Banks had voted to object to the election result.

CNBC policy

Read more about CNBC’s political coverage:

McCarthy, R-Calif., Described Pelosi’s move in a statement as an “outrageous abuse of power” and accused her of “being more interested in politics than seeking the truth”.

“Unless Spokesman Pelosi reverses his course and sets all five Republican nominees, the Republicans will not participate in their bogus trial and instead conduct our own investigation into the facts,” McCarthy said.

Jordan, a staunch Trump ally and top Republican on the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, said in a brief statement that Pelosi’s actions showed that her Jan. 6 investigation was “nothing more than a partisan farce.”

Banks said in his own statement that Pelosi was “afraid of the facts”.

“We’ve been saying this was a purely partisan exercise by the Democrats all along, and Nancy Pelosi’s disapproval of me and Jim Jordan shows once again that she is the most partisan figure in America today,” said Banks.

But Pelosi had a Republican woman – Representative Liz Cheney from Wyoming – elected to the panel as one of its eight members earlier this month.

Cheney was once the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives and was ousted from her role as GOP conference chairman after she refused to stop criticizing Trump for spreading the lie that the 2020 elections were rigged against him.

Performing on the Capitol steps Wednesday afternoon, Cheney reaffirmed her determination to serve on the panel and attacked McCarthy without disclosing his name for defying an earlier attempt to set up a 9/11 bipartisan commission to build.

“The minority leader has tried every opportunity to prevent the American people from understanding what happened,” Cheney said on Jan. 6.

One of the two Republicans Pelosi refused to appoint “may well have been an essential witness to the events leading up to the invasion,” Cheney said. The other “disqualified himself” on comments showing that he viewed his appointment as a “political platform,” she said.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives set up the special committee after Republicans blocked a bill in the Senate that would have set up an independent commission to investigate the attack. Six GOP senators voted to move the legislation forward.

Pelosi’s statement on Wednesday said she had told McCarthy that she would appoint the other three Republican candidates to the panel and “requested that he recommend two other members” to replace Jordan and Banks.

When asked at the Capitol why she turned down the two Republicans, Pelosi told NBC News, “6. January”.

McCarthy had chosen Banks to be the top Republican on the 13-member body.

McCarthy’s other picks are reps. Rodney Davis from Illinois, Kelley Armstrong from North Dakota and Texas newcomer Troy Nehls.