House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appointed Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks to lead Republicans on the Jan. 6 select committee, but his position and the four other GOP picks are contingent on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s approval.
If Pelosi signs off on McCarthy’s picks, Banks would serve as ranking member and would be joined on the panel to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack by Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Troy Nehls of Texas.
Banks said Pelosi created the panel to “malign conservatives” but added that he will work to provide Americans with the facts surrounding the attack.
“I have accepted Leader McCarthy’s appointment to this committee because we need leaders who will force the Democrats and the media to answer questions so far ignored,” the Indiana Republican said in a statement. “Among them, why was the Capitol unprepared and vulnerable to attack on January 6?”
Banks indicated that the GOP might use the panel as a forum to attack President Joe Biden, who was not sworn in yet on the day of the Jan. 6 attack.
“I will do everything possible to give the American people the facts about the lead up to January 6, the riot that day, and the responses from Capitol leadership and the Biden administration. I will not allow this committee to be turned into a forum for condemning millions of Americans because of their political beliefs,” he stated.
Davis is the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, a panel that has held several hearings about the shortcomings of the Capitol Police. Jordan is the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of the Justice Department.
Pelosi announced her eight selections to the committee on July 1, a roster that includes Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who was purged from her role as GOP Conference chair, the party’s No. 3 position in leadership, for criticizing former President Donald Trump’s lies about election fraud.
House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who brokered a deal for a bipartisan, independent, 9/11-style commission that was later blocked by Senate Republicans, will chair the 13-member select committee.
The panel’s first hearing is scheduled for July 27 and will feature testimony from Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department officers.