McCarthy Blasts 'Partisan-Based' 1/6 Commission Before Officers Testify

Republican House leaders are arguing that the House bipartisan committee tasked with investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol is partisan and should focus more on whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi should have done more to secure the Capitol.

"The Speaker is trying to cover up what happened on January 6," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, told reporters Tuesday morning during a news conference an hour before the 1/6 committee meeting. "Why were we so ill prepared for that day, and how can we make sure this never happens again?"

McCarthy and his allies argued that Pelosi, a California Democrat, was slow to act when a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, injuring police officers and forcing members and then-Vice President Mike Pence to be whisked to safety.

McCarthy called the investigation "partisan-based."

"This is the only situation in the history of a select committee for the Speaker to try to predetermine what could be asked and what results could take place," he said.

None would discuss Trump's role in whipping up a crowd before the riot, when he directed them to go to the Capitol to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as the 2020 presidential election winner.

Pelosi, who was a direct target of the rioters, has denied any role in the riot.

"Every single aspect of these lies has been fact-checked and debunked by major news outlets," Pelosi spokeswoman Robyn Patterson said on Twitter during the press conference.

Pelosi's office didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for futher comment.

Pelosi has appointed two Republicans to the 1/6 panel—Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois—but rejected McCarthy appointees Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio and Representative Jim Banks of Indiana. Both Jordan and Banks have been staunch allies of Trump and voted against the election certification in states after they were able to resume voting when the Capitol was secured later that evening.

Capitol Police officers are expected to testify about an hour after McCarthy and his allies finished their remarks about what they experienced that day.

"If you want the true answers, do not be afraid of the questions that will get asked, and drive the evidence to wherever it comes forward," McCarthy said. "We owe it to the nation to have an open and fair debate with all questions being asked."

Multiple investigations and reports have accused the Trump administration and campaign of stoking the rioters and then delaying the response.

McCarthy didn't mention Trump's role in what happened and shifted the discussion when asked by reporters.

"I think from a standpoint, I'm looking at all the investigation as we go forward," he said. "I would have liked the response faster."

But he went on to claim that Pelosi—who only has control of one chamber of the Capitol, while then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, had control of the upper chamber—didn't do enough to secure the building.

McCarthy didn't respond to a reporter's shouted question about McConnell's role.

McCarthy slams 1/6 Commission before first hearing
Republican House leaders are arguing that the bipartisan committee tasked with investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol is partisan. In this photo, pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum/Getty Images