McCarthy Pulls Members From Jan. 6 Commission After Pelosi Rejects Banks, Jordan Nominations

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has yanked his appointees from a proposed bipartisan panel to study the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of his appointees—fortifying arguments that the review will be partisan.

"This panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility," McCarthy, a California Republican, told reporters during a quickly called press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday. "Pelosi has broken this institution."

In a statement earlier in the day, Pelosi questioned whether the appointments of Republican Congressmen Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana would compromise the "integrity of the investigation."

"With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee," Pelosi, a California Democrat, said in the statement. "The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision."

McCarthy called the move an "egregious abuse of power" that would threaten the already partisan charged divide in Congress. He said Republicans will hold a separate investigation into the events leading up to January 6 when a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden's election.

"The only way to reverse this is seat these five," McCarthy said, flanked by Jordan, Banks and appointees who Pelosi signed off on—Republican Representatives Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, and Troy Nehls of Texas.

Pelosi has already appointed U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican who voted to impeach Trump over the January 6 mob attack and has been critical of the former president's role in the riot, to serve on the committee.

Banks and Jordan were among the 139 House Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania when voting resumed as a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing congressional members and then-Vice President Mike Pence into secure areas for safety.

Banks and Jordan also signed onto a Texas lawsuit challenging the election results in key battleground states. The Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit.

There had been widespread speculation as to whether Pelosi would move to reject the members McCarthy had named, after the Senate rejected a proposal to create a broader bipartisan panel.

During their news conference, Banks, Jordan and McCarthy all questioned whether Pelosi had a role in the Capitol not being secure on January 6, even though she was a target of the rioters who broke into her office and chanted threats against her.

"She knew we would fight back and that's why she didn't want us on the committee," Banks told reporters. "The American people demand that their leaders step up to make sure this never happens again."

Jordan also noted that the riot has been the subject of multiple criminal investigations and committee hearings.

"They just wanna be partisan," Jordan said. "They just want to blame the former president."

Jordan, Banks rejected from 1/6 Commission
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) departs from a caucus meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill on July 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) picked five GOP House members to serve on the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th riots, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks. Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images