Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) suggested Sunday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has nefarious motives for denying him and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) spots on the commission probing the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
What is the background?
The truly bipartisan nature of the investigation collapsed last week when Pelosi blocked Jordan and Banks from joining the committee. They had been appointed to the panel by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Pelosi suggested the integrity of the panel would be compromised with Banks and Jordan because each Republican lawmaker supported former President Donald Trump and voted against his impeachment.
McCarthy responded by withdrawing all five Republicans that he had named to the committee. Now, the only Republicans on the committee are Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.). They, however, were selected by Pelosi.
What did Banks allege?
Speaking with Fox News host Martha MacCallum on "Fox News Sunday," Banks accused Pelosi of loading the investigative panel with anti-Trump lawmakers to divert attention from her culpability in the breakdown of security at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
"Due to the rules of the United States Capitol, the power structure of the Capitol, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, has more control and authority and responsibility over the leadership of the Capitol Police than anyone else in the United States Capitol," Banks said.
"So she doesn't want us to ask these questions because, at the end of the day, she is ultimately responsible for the breakdown of security at the Capitol that happened on Jan. 6," he added.
In fact, Banks explained the head of the Capitol Police union told him last week that Capitol Police officers never prepared for Jan 6., despite having intelligence reports for three weeks prior indicating "that something potentially very dangerous could happen that day."
"They weren't prepared for it, they weren't trained for it, and, maybe most important of all, they weren't equipped for it," Banks said.
By banning Banks and Jordan from sitting on the Jan. 6 commission, Pelosi is actually blocking questions about security at the Capitol "that don't fit her narrative," Banks alleged.
"It's clear that Pelosi only wants members on this committee who will stick to her talking points and stick to her narrative," Banks said. "That's why she's picked the group that she's already picked.
"Why does Nancy Pelosi not want to hear the other side? Why does she not want to answer the tough questions that Jim Jordan and I were prepared to ask and demand answers to?" Banks continued. "It's pretty clear why, because the further you go up that chain of command, the closer you get to Speaker Pelosi."
The Jan. 6 commission will meet for the first time on Tuesday.