The California Republican’s long-awaited picks, first reported by Politico, are expected to counter Democrats on the panel who will shine a light on the involvement of former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party in the deadly riot carried out by Trump supporters.
McCarthy is expected to name Rep. Jim Banks (Ind.) as the ranking member, as well as Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Rodney Davis (Ill.), Kelly Armstrong (N.D.) and Troy Nehls (Texas). The lawmakers were expected to meet with McCarthy in his office at the Capitol on Monday evening.
CNN and The Washington Post also confirmed the leader’s recommendations, who will need to be approved by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) before they can sit on the 13-member committee, according to the House legislation approved to establish the panel. The minority leader’s recommendations don’t include any women. However, Pelosi has appointed Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a critic of McCarthy and Jordan who was ousted from House GOP leadership for condemning Trump.
McCarthy’s picks are a mix of staunch Trump allies and moderate Republicans, like Davis. Banks chairs the Republican Study Committee, Davis is the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, Jordan is the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Armstrong is a lawyer who served in the House Judiciary during Trump’s first impeachment and Nehls is a former member of law enforcement who supported the U.S. Capitol Police in turning back rioters who tried to break into the House chamber during the siege.
All five of McCarthy’s picks voted against impeaching Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 attack, and three of them ― Banks, Jordan and Nehls ― voted against certifying the 2020 Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania. Jordan could become a witness in the investigation.
McCarthy’s recommendations are just that, with Pelosi having the power to veto any of his choices. The majority leader has been made aware of her Republican colleague’s choices and is reviewing them, according to CNN.
“Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the left’s authoritarian agenda,” Banks told CNN, adding that Republicans will look at why the Capitol was “unprepared and vulnerable to attack.”
Pelosi made the decision to form a select committee after Senate Republicans blocked an effort to create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack. Despite 35 members of the House GOP voting in favor of the independent commission this spring, McCarthy refused to support it. House Republicans have almost collectively opposed the creation of a select committee after the independent commission proposal failed.
McCarthy’s recommendations come as members of the select committee prepare to hold their first hearing on July 27. The panel, led by House Oversight chair Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), will hear from witnesses belonging to the U.S. Capitol Police and the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, including four officers who responded to the rioters.
Capitol Police officers Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell, and MPD’s Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges have already gone public with their accounts of what happened on Jan. 6. Each officer experienced physical and verbal abuse from the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol with the intention of overturning the election and harming lawmakers.