The nomination of a northeast Indiana congressman to serve as the top Republican on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump was rejected Wednesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
In a statement, Pelosi said she was compelled to object to the appointment of U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, due to Banks' past statements and actions relating to the Capitol attack that she said may compromise the integrity of the House investigation.
"The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision," Pelosi said. "The future of our democracy is on the line. This assault was an attempt to overthrow the government."
Banks was among 139 House Republicans who challenged the electoral votes for Democrat Joe Biden submitted by the states of Pennsylvania and Arizona — notwithstanding certification of their validity by state officials — as part of an effort to propel Trump to a second term, despite the Republican failing to win an electoral vote majority and losing the national popular vote for a second time.
He also said Monday he believed "Democrats and the media" were responsible for the Capitol attack, even though Trump was impeached for instigating the violence, and Banks promised to use his position on the committee to press for an investigation of last year's "political riots" that followed the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
"Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the left's authoritarian agenda," Banks said.
Banks said Wednesday he was "disappointed" in Pelosi's decision to pull him from the Jan. 6 committee. Pelosi also bumped U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who, like Banks, is among the Republicans most loyal to Trump.
"She knows Jim Jordan and I will fight for our country and for the truth," Banks said. "This proves again this is entirely a political stunt, not a true effort to follow the facts."
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said unless Pelosi agrees to seat all five of his nominees to the panel, "Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts."