House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy answered ‘we’ll see’ when asked Monday at the White House if he would punish Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for joining the Democrat-led January 6 select committee.
He called the duo of anti-Trump GOP lawmakers ‘Pelosi Republicans.
When asked when he had last talked to them he answered, ‘Couldn’t tell you.’
McCarthy attended a White House Rose Garden event marking the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, putting him in the same venue as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who he’s been arguing with over the formation of the 1/6 committee.
CNN reported earlier Monday on a terse phone call that happened between the two House leaders after Pelosi nixed two of McCarthy’s selections for the committee.
‘What you’re doing is unprecedented,’ McCarthy said.
The network reported that on the call voices were raised and McCarthy hinted that Pelosi’s decision would come back to haunt her.
Pelosi had announced on Wednesday that she wouldn’t allow Rep. Jim Jordan, a well known Trump loyalist, and Rep. Jim Banks to serve on the committee that will probe the January 6 Capitol riot.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told DailyMail.com ‘we’ll see’ when asked if he would punish anti-Trump GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, who have joined the Democrat-led January 6 select committee
McCarthy attended the same event at the White House as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who he had a terse phone call with last week, according to CNN, after she nixed two of the Republican members he selected for the committee – adding Kinzinger, an anti-Trump Republican, instead
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday that she was nixing two of McCarthy’s Republican choices to serve on the 1/6 select committee: Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks
Both Jordan and Banks voted to overturn the election the day of the insurrection.
Later Pelosi said she would appoint Kinzinger, a Republican Trump critic, to serve on the select committee instead.
Calls to punish Republicans investigating the Capitol riots have grown after Kinzinger accepted Pelosi’s offer to serve on the Jan. 6 committee on Sunday.
He is the second Republican and outspoken Trump critic to take a seat on the committee at the behest of the House Speaker, Cheney joined the body earlier this month.
Kinzinger will join the other members at the committee’s first hearing on Tuesday.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy last week pulled his five picks, which were given to Pelosi when she created the group. The move came after the speaker rejected two of them – Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana.
Now, GOP members beyond the hard-right Freedom Caucus are calling for party leaders to remove the pair from other committees.
‘There’s a lot,’ one Republican told CNN about the push. ‘Supporting Pelosi’s unprecedented move to reject McCarthy’s picks was a bridge too far.’
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (left) joined Liz Cheney (right) on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot committee after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied seats to two Trump supporters
Pelosi told ABC News on Sunday morning that Jordan and Banks would ‘jeopardize the integrity of the investigation.’
Kinzinger agreed that the panel needed a ‘serious, clear-eyed non-partisan approach’.
‘Today, I was asked by the Speaker to serve on the House Select Committee to Investigate January 6th and I humbly accepted,’ the Illinois congressman wrote in a statement Sunday afternoon.
‘I’m a Republican dedicated to conservative values,’ he continued, ‘but I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution – and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer.
‘I will work diligently to ensure we get to the truth and hold those responsible for the attack fully accountable,’ he said in his Sunday statement.
Both Cheney and Kinzinger voted for Trump’s impeachment following the January 6 riot.
Kinzinger has been a vocal critic of the former president both on television and on social media. He strongly criticized his own political party, saying that the GOP is no longer focused on policy and has become all about ‘loyalty’ to Trump.
‘I think what I’m used to saying to any Republican that’s maybe kind of confused by the moment we’re in is policy doesn’t matter anymore. It literally is all your loyalty to Donald Trump. As I’ve said before, this is something that like echoes a little bit out of North Korea, where no matter what policy comes out, you’re loyal to the guy,’ he told NBC News’ Meet the Press last month.
Cheney was voted out of her No. 3 leadership role in the party and replaced by loyalist Elise Stefanik for continually calling out Trump on his election lies.
There are no Trump supporters on the committee investigating the violent breach, which critics say was sparked by Trump’s calls to ‘stop the steal’ and ‘show strength’ during a rally that same day.
McCarthy had previously warned freshman Republicans to look to Pelosi for future committee appointments if they accepted her invitation.
‘Plenty of people wondering the same things,’ another GOP member told CNN. ‘If they are accepting appointments from Nancy Pelosi rather than the GOP, haven’t they already effectively left? Perhaps they should ask Speaker Pelosi for committee assignments?’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she ‘plans’ to select Republican Kinzinger and ‘other Republicans’ for the committee probing the January 6 Capitol attack
Republicans are warning of ‘endless retaliation’ as a ‘new level of partisanship’ emerged when Pelosi rejected two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (pictured) picks for the panel
McCarthy fumed after Kinzinger joined the panel, calling it not bipartisan – just made up of people hand-selected by Pelosi who all share her same view that Trump is to blame for the Capitol attack.
‘Speaker Pelosi’s rejection of the Republican nominees to serve on the committee and self-appointment of members who share her pre-conceived narrative will not yield a serious investigation,’ McCarthy said in a Sunday statement after Kinzinger accepted a post on the panel.
Liz Cheney vs. Donald Trump
- Voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 riots
- Said the president ‘summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack’
- Her outspoken opposition to Trump’s ‘big lie’ lost her a party chairmanship and led to a censure from her state party
- ‘He’s unfit,’ she said of the former president after she was removed from party leadership. ‘He never again can be anywhere close to the Oval Office.’
- Defended Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, two witnesses in Trump’s first impeachment, after he attacked them
- Criticized Trump’s proposal to draw down troops in Germany
- Rebuked him for dismissing reports that Russia had offered Afghan militants a bounty to kill U.S. troops
- Backed infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci for how he dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic
- Mocked Trump’s cavalier attitude on face coverings by tweeting out a photo of her father wearing a mask with the caption, ‘Dick Cheney says WEAR A MASK.’
He did not directly reference Kinzinger’s willingness to accept the speaker’s invitation.
‘The Speaker has structured this select committee to satisfy her political objectives,’ he added. ‘She had months to work with Republicans on a reasonable and fair approach to get answers on the events and security failures surrounding January 6. Instead, she has played politics.’
The California Republican said the Senate has already conducted successful bipartisan investigations that ‘should serve as a roadmap’ for the January 6 select committee.
‘Speaker Pelosi’s departure from this serious-minded approach has destroyed the select committee’s credibility,’ he insisted.
It is not clear if Pelosi will tap any other GOP members to serve on the committee, but she did say ‘other Republicans’ have expressed interest in joining the panel.
ABC This Week host George Stephanopoulos pushed Pelosi on when she will make an announcement.
‘Perhaps after I speak to Adam Kinzinger. But I’m not going to announce it right this minute,’ she said just moments before approaching the Illinois Republican.
Adam Kinzinger vs. Donald Trump
- Voted to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 riots
- Endorsed all GOP anti-Trump candidates running for the House in 2022
- Launched a PAC aimed at ending Trump’s influence on the GOP
- Regularly uses social media to fact-check and push back against claims of widespread voter fraud pushed by Trump and his minions
- Condemned staunchly pro-Trump lawmakers and Republicans who promote baseless conspiracy theories, such as QAnon
‘You can say that that’s the direction I would be going on,’ she continued with a chuckle. ‘He and other Republicans have expressed an interest to serve on the select committee.’
Pelosi said she ‘wanted to appoint three of the members that Leader McCarthy suggested, but he withdrew their names.’
‘The two that I would not appoint are people who would jeopardize the integrity of the investigation. And there’s no way I would tolerate their antics as we seek the truth,’ she told ABC News on Sunday morning.
McCarthy had put up Jordan, Banks, Troy Nehls of Texas, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Rodney Davis of Illinois.
Jordan, Banks and Nehls all voted against certifying the 2020 election for Joe Biden by citing fraud in certain states on January 6.
Pelosi, as House Speaker, was able to veto only two.
‘Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts,’ McCarthy said last week.
‘Pelosi has broken this institution,’ he continued, while accusing the House speaker of an ‘egregious abuse of power.’
Pelosi defended her decision to reject Jordan and Banks, saying their ‘antics’ were in danger of getting in the way of finding the truth behind what happened on January 6.
She said both lawmakers had a history of making statements that would have made it impossible for them to display ‘balanced judgment,’ including blaming the Biden administration for events that unfolded before it had even formed.
‘It is my responsibility as Speaker of the House, to make sure we get to the truth on this, and we will not let their antics stand in the way of that,’ she said during her weekly press briefing.
Pelosi said Sunday she would have appointed three McCarthy’s picks, but ‘the two that I would not appoint are people who would jeopardize the integrity of the investigation.’ She’s speaking of Reps. Jim Banks (left) and Jim Jordan’s (right) who she rejected for the committee
Republicans warn there will be ‘endless retaliation’, according to a Sunday report, as the House becomes further divided.
‘I didn’t think things could get more partisan in the House than they already were,’ a top Republican aide told the Washington Examiner. ‘But Speaker Pelosi’s decision to remove Republicans from the January 6th Committee just took things to an entirely new level.’
‘When Republicans take back the House, expect endless retaliation,’ the aide said.
The House currently sits at a 220-211 divide with Democrats holding the majority, but Republicans are putting all their efforts into flipping the body back to red in the 2022 midterms.
The Senate is split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tie-breaking vote.
The panel begins its first hearing Tuesday into the violence that left five people dead after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Congress as hey moved to certify the Electoral College results. It will hear from law enforcement officers who battled protesters.
The House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol (above) is due to meet for the first time next week as it probes the attack on Congress that left five people dead
Last week, Pelosi hit back against critics who accused her of being intent on taking down Trump.
‘We’re there to get the truth, not to get Trump,’ she said spelling it out.
‘T-R-U truth. Trump that seems to be what the other side is obsessed with.
‘So as legislation allows I didn’t accept two of the five people were appointed, they had made statements and taken actions that I think would impact the integrity of the commission of the committee, the work as a committee,’ she said.
‘This is deadly serious. This is about our constitution, it’s about our country.’
By way of example she cited a combative statement released by Banks last Monday in which he promised to use his role on the commission to investigate the response of the Biden administration to the riot.
‘There was no Biden administration on January so let’s not go into that,’ she said.
Republicans were prepared to focus their strategy on why Pelosi wasn’t more prepared for the attack.
‘There’s one fundamental question that I hope Democrats will actually answer and address and that is why wasn’t there a proper security presence that day?’ Jordan questioned after he was appointed by McCarthy.
‘And frankly, only the speaker can answer that question so let’s see if the Democrats bring that up,’ he added.
Pelosi’s spokesperson told DailyMail.com last Wednesday that the GOP strategy is ‘desperate’.
‘On January 6th, the Speaker, a target of an assassination attempt that day, was no more in charge of Capitol security than Mitch McConnell was,’ Drew Hammill said. ‘This is a clear attempt to whitewash what happened on January 6th and divert blame.’
At a rally in New York on July 25, right-wing protesters demanded the release of those arrested for participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that left five people dead and windows smashed
They called for the release of more than 500 people arrested in connection with the breach
He added: ‘I would hope the media would do better and treat this as the utter nonsense that it is.’
The GOP was also planning to highlight leftist political violence, including the 2020 summer riots and looting in response to police brutality.
‘The Democrats in the summer of 2020 normalized anarchy, they normalized rioting and looting,’ Jordan said. ‘So I think that’s an important element that we’ll have to point out.’
In his statement, after being named to the committee by McCarthy, Banks also promised to address questions being ignored by Democrats.
‘Even then, I will do everything possible to give the American people the facts about the lead up to January 6, the riot that day, and the responses from Capitol leadership and the Biden administration,’ he said.
‘I will not allow this committee to be turned into a forum for condemning millions of Americans because of their political beliefs.’
Two days later he accused Pelosi of running from the facts.
‘I’m a sitting member of Congress and served my country in Afghanistan and the Speaker knows how hard I will fight for my country,’ he said.
‘We said all along that this was a purely partisan exercise by the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi’s rejection of me and Jim Jordan shows once again she is the most partisan figure in America today.’
The panel has been beset by partisan wrangling from the off. Last month, all but two Republicans opposed the select committee in a House vote.