House Republicans who were initially appointed to the January 6 committee are discreetly working on a counter-investigation and aim to deliver a report on their findings while the select committee continues to interview witnesses and issue subpoenas for their investigation.
The Washington Examiner reports that Indiana Representative Jim Banks said, “Republicans, at the direction of Leader McCarthy, are conducting our own investigation. I can’t go into many of the specifics of what we’ve done or what we are doing.” But I will tell you that we will be releasing our findings publicly in the future.”
The agreement establishing the select committee authorized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to “recommend” five people to be part of the committee, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had the final word.
Pelosi prevented Banks, who was supposed to be a ranking member, and Ohio Representative Jim Jordan from serving on the committee. McCarthy protested by removing his remaining three appointments unless all five could participate. Pelosi appointed the two Republicans who sit on the committee, Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
After removing his selections, McCarthy said, “We will run our own investigation … Why was the Capitol so ill-prepared for that day when they knew on December 14 they had a problem? And what have we done to make sure that never happens again?” The Republican-led investigation is meant to counter the committee’s investigation that Banks believes is based on a “conspiracy theory” that “January 6 was an inside job … secretly orchestrated by President Trump and his closest advisers.”
Working against Banks, Cheney revealed some of what he had been working on. During the debate over whether to hold former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena. She exposed that Banks had written to executive branch agencies identifying himself as the committee’s original ranking member and requested the same information that the committee received.
Banks contends that a Republican-controlled endeavor should have access to the same documents. However, the minority party does not have access to the information or the right to object to majority questioning in deposition interviews because McCarthy did not seat any Republicans on the committee. Efforts to obtain the records have been blocked from the Republicans, with the FBI saying, “We respectfully refer you to the Select Committee regarding issues of access to records and information.”
The Republican investigation also aims to identify security failures, which they believe Pelosi may be responsible for. Representative Jordan explained, “They don’t want to get to the main question, which is why wasn’t the Capitol properly secured that day? And the only one who can answer that question is Speaker Pelosi. In fact, I still believe the reason Mr. Banks and I were not permitted to be on the committee is because Speaker Pelosi knew we were going to focus on that fundamental question.”
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