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Trump’s allies Jordan and Banks were ‘ridiculous’ choices for Jan 6 commission, Pelosi says

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There was “no chance” that two Republican lawmakers would be part of the special House committee to investigate the Capitol invasion, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday, explaining why she refused to name them.

These two House Republicans, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana, “made statements and took actions that made it ridiculous to put them on such a truth-seeking committee,” Pelosi said, D-Calif., At a press conference.

“When the statements are ridiculous and fall into the realm of ‘You must be kidding’, there’s no way they’re part of the committee,” Pelosi said.

His decision to turn down Jordan and Banks stems from their words and actions that spanned months, some already before the January 6 riot and others not later than this week, a senior official told CNBC Democrat familiar with the proceedings.

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More recently, the aide said, Democrats were outraged by a statement by Banks on Monday evening, in which he promised to reveal the facts about the Capitol invasion, including “responses from the Capitol leadership and the Biden administration “.

In fact, the Biden administration began two weeks after the January 6 riot, when hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from confirming victory. election campaign of current President Joe Biden.

When Congress returned to its chambers hours after the rioters broke up, Jordan and Banks voted against the election results.

Pelosi said Thursday that Banks’ statement amounted to claiming the Biden administration was responsible for the attempted insurgency. “There was no Biden administration on January 6,” she noted.

The Democratic aide also told CNBC there was “deep concern” about Jordan, a staunch ally of Trump who is the most senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

The aide specifically cited his attendance at a December White House meeting in which Trump and a group of Republican lawmakers allegedly strategized on ways to undo Biden’s election victory.

Pelosi’s categorical rejections, announced on Wednesday, sparked a fiery response from parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who had selected Jordan and Banks for the committee along with three other Republicans.

McCarthy, R-Calif., Accused Pelosi of “blatant abuse of power” and vowed to remove her five panel picks unless she backs down.

The speaker is “more interested in politics than seeking the truth,” McCarthy said.

But Pelosi on Thursday seemed very unlikely to change his mind.

Banks and Jordan’s words and actions make it “impossible for them to exercise their judgment” on the inquiry committee, she said.

Spokesmen for Jordan and Banks did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Pelosi’s comments on Thursday.

The Democratic aide told CNBC that caucus members were also opposed to Banks’ nomination in light of a recent trip to the US-Mexico border organized by the Republican Study Committee, of which he is the chair.

The group of GOP lawmakers on the trip were reportedly joined by Anthony Aguero, a suspected rioter from Capitol Hill, who was seen chatting with several committee members.

Banks “never spoke to the individual in question, the Republican Study Board was not aware of his identity and his whereabouts on January 6, and he did not travel with him. our group to the border, ”a spokesperson for the committee told CNN in a statement.

After their nominations were rejected, Jordan and Banks released statements accusing the select committee of being a partisan business.

But a Republican member is on the panel: Trump critic Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was ousted from her role as GOP conference chair after refusing to stop criticizing the former president for spreading the lie that the 2020 election was rigged against him.

“I think the committee is going to do a very thorough, fair and impartial job of finding out the truth,” Cheney told reporters Thursday as she and other members gathered in Pelosi’s office for a closed-door meeting. .

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