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Kevin McCarthy says Pelosi’s riot committee is a ‘sham’ that ‘no one will believe’

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday slammed the committee investigating the January 6th riot at the Capitol as ‘a sham that no one can believe.’ 

His comments came as lawmakers prepared for their first hearing on what happened that day with four police officers caught in the melee testifying about their experience. 

‘Speaker Pelosi will only pick on people on the committee that will ask the questions she wants asked – that becomes a failed committee and a failed report, a sham that no one can believe. If you want to do answers, do not be afraid of the questions that will get asked,’ McCarthy said a press conference with Republican leaders.

Republicans sought to place the blame for the storming of Donald Trump‘s supporters on the Capitol on Pelosi, arguing without proof she was responsible for security that day.

‘We now have a committee that all of America wants to know the answers to why were we ill prepared for that day, and how can we make sure that that will never happen again,’ McCarthy argued.

Pelosi’s office fired back. 

‘McCarthy and House Republicans have desperately tried to undermine and prevent a real investigation into the events of January 6th from the start. Now that the bipartisan Select Committee is beginning its work, the only tools left in House Republicans’ arsenal are deflection, distortion, and disinformation,’ the speaker’s office said in a statement.

Pelosi doesn’t direct the DC National Guard, which is actually under the purview of the White House. She does not oversee day-to-day operations in the Capitol and is not in charge of its security. 

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed the committee investigating the January 6th riot at the Capitol as ‘a sham that no one can believe’

Republicans are trying to make the focus on Speaker Pelosi's role on the day of the riot and ignored questions about Donald Trump's role

Republicans are trying to make the focus on Speaker Pelosi’s role on the day of the riot and ignored questions about Donald Trump’s role

Republicans left out that Mitch McConnell, the Senate GOP Leader, was also in leadership on that day as they repeatedly tried to tie the lack of proper security preparation back to decisions made by Pelosi in the run up to January 6.  

McCarthy dismissed questions about Trump’s role on that day, a question the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will examine as part of its probe.  

THE CAPITOL RIOT SELECT COMMITTEE:  SEVEN DEMOCRATS, TWO REPUBLICANS

• Chair Bennie Thompson: Chair of Homeland Security Committee

• Chair Zoe Lofgren: Chair of Committee on House Administration

• Chair Adam Schiff: Chair of House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

• Rep. Pete Aguilar, House Administration and Appropriations Committees

• Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, Armed Services Committee

• Rep. Stephanie Murphy, Armed Services Committee

• Rep. Jamie Raskin, Oversight and Judiciary Committees

• Rep. Elaine Luria, Navy veteran, Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees 

• Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Iraqi veteran, Energy and Commerce and Foreign Affairs Committees 

Instead, the Republicans, who were trying to set the stage before the committee gaveled its hearing to order later Tuesday morning, tried to keep the focus on the speaker and berated her for removing Republican Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks from the panel.

Rep. Steve Scalise, the Number 2 in House GOP Leadership, charged Pelosi with ‘canceling’ the two lawmakers.

‘They got canceled by this new cancel culture that we see moving throughout the country led by Speaker Pelosi and a lot of our socialist allies here in Congress, where they want to shut out voices that raise tough questions that they don’t want to be asked or answered,’ he said.

The GOP leadership also complained they would have none of their people asking questions at the hearing. But Pelosi, who said she vetoed Banks and Jordan to protect the ‘integrity’ of the investigation, accepted McCarthy’s other three picks. He pulled them in response to her veto of his other two lawmakers.

Two Republicans – Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – will be part of the investigation and take part in questioning the four police officers about their experiences the day of the MAGA riot.

‘This is absolutely not a game. This is deadly serious,’ Cheney told ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday.

But the two are there at the invitation of Pelosi.

The two Republicans – both of whom voted for Trump’s second impeachment and who have been vocal critics of the former president’s – give the panel the veneer of bipartisanship.

McCarthy has combined his attacks on Pelosi with hits on his two wayward GOP lawmakers.

‘She’s broken Congress. Then it just makes the whole committee sham and the outcome predetermined,’ McCarthy told reporters at the White House on Monday of Pelosi.

He also slammed Cheney and Kinzinger as ‘Pelosi Republicans.’ McCarthy, facing pressure from some conservatives in his GOP conference to punish the two lawmakers, merely told DailyMail.com ‘we’ll see’ about any possible consequences. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy

The select committee investigating the January 6th riot at the Capitol holds its first hearing under a cloud of controversy Tuesday after Speaker Nancy Pelosi nixed two of House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s choices

The hearing room in the Cannon House Office Building where the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol will hold its first hearing

The hearing room in the Cannon House Office Building where the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol will hold its first hearing

Rep. Lynn Cheney

Rep. Adam Kinzinger

Two Republicans – Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – will be part of the investigation of the January 6th riot

Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6 to try and stop certification of Joe Biden's win in the presidential election

Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6 to try and stop certification of Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election

In response, Cheney and Kinzinger called McCarthy ‘childish’ as they met with the seven Democrats serving on the committee in the Capitol Monday as part of their prep session. 

‘We’ve got very serious business here. We have important work to do,’ Cheney said to reporters on Capitol Hill.  She was booted off the House GOP leadership team earlier this year for her criticism of Trump.

Kinzinger said that McCarthy ‘can call me whatever names he wants,’ before reassuring, ‘I’m a Republican.’

‘If the conference decided, or if Kevin decides, they want to punish Liz Cheney and I for getting to the bottom and telling the truth, I think that probably says more about them than it does for us,’ he continued.

McCarthy offered a privileged resolution on the House floor on Monday night to seat all five of his original picks. 

But Democrats easily voted it down – with Kinzinger and Cheney joining them to kill McCarthy’s attempt to get his people back on the panel.  

At Tuesday’s hearing, the lawmakers will hear from four police officers who were at the Capitol on January 6th, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the building, leaving five people dead and a trail of destruction.

The officers are:  

  • Harry Dunn, Private First Class, U.S. Capitol Police 
  • Aquilino Gonell, Sergeant, U.S. Capitol Police 
  • Michael Fanone, Officer, Metropolitan Police Department 
  • Daniel Hodges, Officer, Metropolitan Police Department  

The hearing will include footage from the day of the riot never seen before, according to Rep. Adam Schiff, one of the panel members.

‘I hope they’ll get a much better sense of what it was like to be on the front lines that day, what these officers endured, the fact that many of them thought it was going to be their last day of life that they were going to die defending the Capitol, and sustain grievous injuries,’ he told CNN of Tuesday’s hearing.

‘They’ll see some footage that they’ve never seen before,’ he added. 

The four cops testifying on January 6th MAGA riot

At Tuesday’s hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, the lawmakers on the panel will hear from four police officers who were at the Capitol on that day, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the building, leaving five people dead and a trail of destruction.

The officers are:  

  • Harry Dunn, Private First Class, U.S. Capitol Police 
  • Aquilino Gonell, Sergeant, U.S. Capitol Police 
  • Michael Fanone, Officer, Metropolitan Police Department 
  • Daniel Hodges, Officer, Metropolitan Police Department  

 HARRY DUNN

Dunn is the only black officer scheduled to appear before the committee and he has been outspoken about how he and his fellow black cops were treated that day.

‘I was directly called the n-word,’ Dunn told The Washington Post. ‘At the time, my mind didn’t process it, that I was being attacked because of my race.’

Private First Class Harry Dunn, U.S. Capitol Police

Private First Class Harry Dunn, U.S. Capitol Police

Dunn has come under attack from some on the right, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson who claimed, without evidence, that Dunn ‘is an angry, left-wing political activist.’

‘Dunn will pretend to speak for the country’s law enforcement community, but it turns out Dunn has very little in common with your average cop,’ Carlson said on his show last week. 

Dunn’s lawyers fired back.

‘Fox News allowed its host Tucker Carlson, who has not served a day in uniform, whether military or law enforcement, to criticize the heroism and service of African-American US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn,’ attorneys David Laufman and Mark Zaid said.

‘Our client has served 13 years in law enforcement and on January 6, 2021, fought against an insurrectionist violent crowd — no doubt many of them Carlson’s supporters — to protect the lives of our elected officials, including Vice President Pence,’ they wrote. 

AQUILINO GONELL

Officer Aquilino Gonell was attacked with a flag pole and chemical spray the day of the riot. He also had his hand sliced open.

He told CNN he thought he was going to die.

Sergeant Aquilino Gonell of U.S. Capitol Police

Sergeant Aquilino Gonell of U.S. Capitol Police

‘They called us traitors. They beat us. They dragged us,’ he said. ‘And I could hear them, ‘We’re going to shoot you. We’re going to kill you. You’re choosing your paycheck over the country. You’re a disgrace. You’re a traitor.”

He has watched footage from that day to try and help the FBI to identify rioters. He told The Post he is seeing a therapist to help with post-traumatic stress disorder.  

Gonell emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the United States at the age of 12, eventually enlisted in the Army Reserve and was deployed to Iraq in 2003. He joined the Capitol Police in 2008.

Michael Fanone

Michael Fanone had become the most out-spoken police officer from that day. 

He was beaten with a flagpole and repeatedly tased with his own Taser. Rioters stole his badge and grabbed at his gun. When they said they should ‘kill him with his own gun,’ Fanone told them, ‘I have kids,’ according to footage from that day.

Officer Michael Fanone of DC Metro Police

Officer Michael Fanone of DC Metro Police

He suffered a mild heart attack because of the attack. 

In the days after the riot, he sought a meeting with House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and expressed his disappointment in the leader after it was over, saying McCarthy declined his request to publicly chastise Republican lawmakers who down played what happened on January 6.

‘I asked him specifically for a commitment to denounce that publicly. And he said that he would address it at a personal level, with some of those members. But again, I think that as a leader of the House Republican, or I’m sorry, as the leader of the House Republican Party, it’s important to hear those denouncements publicly,’ he said.

‘This experience for me is not something that I enjoy,’ he said of meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. ‘I don’t want to be up here on Capitol Hill — I want to be with my daughters. But I see this as an extension of my service on Jan. 6.’ 

Daniel Hodges

Daniel Hodges was crushed in a doorway between a massive press of rioters and the police line on January 6th, writhing and screaming in pain. 

Officer Daniel Hodges of DC Metro Police on the day of the riot

Officer Daniel Hodges of DC Metro Police on the day of the riot

The video of his struggle shows one of the rioters grabbing at Hodges’ helmet and trying to rip it off. 

He didn’t suffer any broken bones or internal bleeding, but said he walked like a 90-year-old man for a week. 

‘I had conspiracy theorists and everyone you could think of yelling at me, saying, ‘Why are you doing this, you’re the traitor,” he said of that day. ‘We’re not the traitors. We’re the ones who saved Congress that day, and we’ll do it as many times as necessary.’ 

The House committee also won’t hesitate to subpoena Trump or anyone who had conversations with him that day, which could include McCarthy.

‘Anybody who had a conversation with the White House and officials in the White House while the invasion of the Capitol was going on is directly in the investigative sights of the committee,’ Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chair of the panel, told The Wall Street Journal on Monday. 

‘I don’t want to name him, but what I will say is that in the conversations we’ve had as a committee, there’s been no reluctance whatsoever to go where the facts lead us,’ he said when asked specifically about Trump.

He also noted the panel won’t hesitate to subpoena any necessary records or phone records as part of their investigation. 

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chair of the panel, didn't rule subpoenaing Donald Trump to testify - above Trump speaks to his supporters outside the White House on the morning of January 6th

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chair of the panel, didn’t rule subpoenaing Donald Trump to testify – above Trump speaks to his supporters outside the White House on the morning of January 6th

Pro-Trump protesters clash with D.C. police officer Michael Fanone on January 6th

Pro-Trump protesters clash with D.C. police officer Michael Fanone on January 6th

Thousands of Donald Trump supporters swarmed the Capitol on January 6th

Thousands of Donald Trump supporters swarmed the Capitol on January 6th

Trump has denied any wrong doing. He spoke to his supporters at a rally outside the White House on January 6th and spent the weeks after the November election falsely claiming he won and was the victim of voter fraud. 

He was impeached a second time on charges of he incited an insurrection at the Capitol. He was acquitted by the Senate. 

McCarthy said Republicans will launch their own investigation of January 6th. 

Republicans opposed Pelosi’s original call for a 9/11-style bipartisan commission. McCarthy opposed it in the House where it passed with Democratic support. But the bill died in the Senate once Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he would not support it.  

Republicans wanted the commission to have a larger scope – and not just study what happened on January 6, but other acts of so-called ‘political violence’ including last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests.   


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