Why Jim Banks and Jim Jordan Were Blocked From the Capitol Riot Panel


WASHINGTON — The two House Republicans Speaker Nancy Pelosi barred from a select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol are both staunch defenders of former President Donald J. Trump who backed his efforts to invalidate the election and have opposed investigating the assault on Congress.

Ms. Pelosi said she had decided to disqualify Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana because of widespread Democratic dismay about “statements made and actions taken by these members.”

Her decision enraged Republican leaders, who announced that they would boycott the investigation altogether. But Democrats insisted that the pair’s support for the election lies that fueled the deadly attack and their subsequent statements downplaying the violence that occurred that day were disqualifying.

Here is a roundup of what they have said.

Mr. Jordan said in December that there was “no way” Mr. Trump should concede the election, even after the Electoral College certified Mr. Biden’s victory.

“No. No way, no way, no way” Mr. Trump should concede, he told CNN in December, adding: “We should still try to figure out exactly what took place here. And as I said, that includes, I think, debates on the House floor — potentially on Jan. 6.”

Later that month, he participated in a meeting at the White House, where Republican lawmakers discussed plans with Mr. Trump’s team to use the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 to challenge the election outcome.

“Americans instinctively know there was something wrong with this election,” Mr. Jordan said, arguing for invalidating electoral votes for Mr. Biden on Jan. 6. “During the campaign, Vice President Biden would do an event and he’d get 50 people at the event. President Trump at just one rally gets 50,000 people.”

Mr. Jordan has repeatedly sought to equate the attack on the Capitol to unrest around last summer’s racial justice protests, and accused Democrats of hypocritically trying to punish Mr. Trump for the riot while refusing to condemn left-wing violence. He signaled that he would use the Jan. 6 investigation to push that narrative.

“I think it’s important to point out that Democrats created this environment, sort of normalizing rioting, normalizing looting, normalizing anarchy, in the summer of 2020, and I think that’s an important piece of information to look into,” Mr. Jordan said this week.

He also said the select committee was a politically motivated effort to harm Mr. Trump, calling it “impeachment Round 3.”

Mr. Banks, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, took a more reserved approach when discussing Mr. Trump’s election fraud claims, telling constituents he had questions “about the legality of some votes cast in the 2020 election” while steering clear of some of the former president’s more fantastical claims.

But like Mr. Jordan, he supported a Texas lawsuit seeking to toss out key Biden victories and voted to overturn the results in Congress.

Mr. Banks released a statement after he was chosen to serve as the top Republican on the panel that seemingly referred to the violent rioters as patriotic Americans expressing their political views. He said he would use the committee to turn the spotlight back on Democrats, scrutinizing why the Capitol was not better prepared for the attack, as well as unrelated “political riots” last summer during the national wave of protest against systemic racism.

“Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign conservatives and to justify the left’s authoritarian agenda,” Mr. Banks said. “I will not allow this committee to be turned into a forum for condemning millions of Americans because of their political beliefs.”



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