• August 4, 2021

Exclusive: McCarthy Chooses Trump Loyalists for Jan. 6 Inquiry

 Exclusive: McCarthy Chooses Trump Loyalists for Jan. 6 Inquiry

WASHINGTON — Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, has chosen a pair of former President Donald J. Trump’s staunchest and most combative allies to be among his five picks to sit on the special House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, signaling he is approaching the inquiry as a partisan battle.

Mr. McCarthy and Republicans had opposed the creation of the select committee, which is to scrutinize the mob violence that delayed Congress’s formal adoption of President Biden’s victory. The 13-member panel, created on a party-line vote, will have seven Democrats and six Republicans, after Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and a harsh critic of Mr. Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, as one of her eight members.

The committee, which is led by Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, is scheduled to have its first meeting July 27 to hear from members of the Capitol Police and District of Columbia police force who fought off the mob. Among them are Harry Dunn, Aquilino Gonell, a sergeant, Michael Fanone, who has lobbied Republicans to support an investigation, and Daniel Hodges, who was crushed in a door during the rampage.

Some of them have been outspoken about the trauma they experienced that day, but Officer Hodges has called it an honor.

“If it wasn’t my job, I would have done that for free,” he told NBC News shortly after the assault. “It was absolutely my pleasure to crush a white nationalist insurrection.”

Ms. Pelosi still must agree to the five Republicans Mr. McCarthy has selected. If he gets his way, they will be:

Mr. Banks, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, will be the ranking member of the panel. He recently led several House Republicans on a trip to join Mr. Trump at an event at the southwestern border.

He voted against certifying electoral votes for Mr. Biden on Jan. 6 and against creating an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the attack.

In a statement on Tuesday, he said Ms. Pelosi had created the panel “solely to malign conservatives and to justify the left’s authoritarian agenda.”

“I will not allow this committee to be turned into a forum for condemning millions of Americans because of their political beliefs,” he added.

A founding member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, Mr. Jordan led the effort to discredit the Russia investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and was one of the former president’s most strident defenders during his first impeachment. Just before leaving office, Mr. Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Mr. Jordan also voted against certifying electoral votes for Mr. Biden on Jan. 6 and against creating an independent bipartisan commission.

On Tuesday, he branded the select committee “impeachment Round 3,” telling Newsmax, “This is to go after President Trump.”

Mr. Davis is the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, where he has studied Capitol security failures, and he is known as a pragmatist.

He did not join his party’s effort to invalidate electoral votes for Mr. Biden on Jan. 6, and he was one of only 35 Republicans who voted to create an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the attack.

He told the Illinois newspaper Herald & Review in January that the Capitol breach was the “second-most terrifying moment” he had experienced as a member of Congress after a shooting on a baseball field in 2017.

“It’s tragic we’ve gotten to this point in the country that people feel they can commit acts of violence because they’re inspired by politics,” he said.

Mr. Armstrong is a former criminal defense lawyer who earned praise from Mr. Trump for his defense during the former president’s first impeachment trial.

He did not object to electoral votes for Mr. Biden on Jan. 6, but he voted against the creation of an independent bipartisan inquiry.

Mr. Armstrong, who was in the House balcony during the attack, has condemned conspiracy theories about the riot and praised the Capitol Police for their response.

A former sheriff, Mr. Nehls was among the lawmakers who assisted the Capitol Police in barricading the door to the House floor during the Jan. 6 attack. Hours later, he joined most Republicans in voting against counting electoral votes for Mr. Biden. He also opposed forming an independent bipartisan commission.

“I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Capitol police barricading entrance to our sacred House chamber, while trying to calm the situation talking to protestors,” Mr. Nehls wrote on Twitter on Jan. 6. “What I’m witnessing is a disgrace. We’re better than this. Violence is NEVER the answer. Law and order!”

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Reporters Team

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