The House select committee investigating the storming of the Capitol during the certification of Joe Biden’s victory on 6 January will hold its first hearing on Tuesday. The bipartisan panel has already provoked the ire of Republicans as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi moved to block two GOP candidates from serving on the committee.
Former US President Donald Trump had some questions for Nancy Pelosi ahead of her select committee’s first hearing – particularly, whether she was planning to probe herself and those responsible for the lack of security at the Capitol during the deadly storming on 6 January.
“Will Nancy investigate herself and those on Capitol Hill who didn’t want additional protection, including more police and National Guard, therefore being unprepared despite the large crowd of people that everyone knew was coming?” Trump said in a statement shared on Telegram.
“Will Nancy release the thousands of hours of tapes so we can see the extent to which ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter played a role, while also revealing ‘who killed Ashli Babbitt?’”, the ex-president added.
He also asked his long-term nemesis whether she and her committee, which features only two Republicans (who unsurprisingly turned out to be Trump’s most severe critics) will “study the massive Voter Fraud that took place during the 2020 Presidential Election”.
In addition, Trump lamented “vicious partisan investigations of Conservatives and Republicans” across the US and the five-year investigation into him based on “the fake Russia Russia Russia charge”.
The ex-president, who was impeached by the Pelosi-led House of Representatives in January over “incitement of insurrection” on the US Congress, dubbed the select committee “fake and highly partisan”.
Tensions Over the Select Panel
On Monday, the House voted to reject Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s resolution which made a last attempt to place his own Republican candidates on the select committee. McCarthy lost the vote with a 218-197 result.
McCarthy is willing to see Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Jim Banks of Indiana, Troy Nehls of Texas, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Rodney Davis of Illinois as part of the controversial investigation.
However, Pelosi previously vetoed two of his picks – Jordan and Banks – arguing that the representatives, who had refused to certify the results of the 2020 election, would “jeopardise the integrity of the investigation”. McCarthy responded by withdrawing all his Republican recommendations. He believes Pelosi’s move has harmed the legitimacy of any probe into the 6 January events.
However, the committee will still feature two GOP members upon Pelosi’s invitation: Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. The duo, who have been rather critical of Trump and supported his 2021 impeachment, voted against McCarthy’s Monday resolution that condemned Pelosi’s refusal to accept all of his five picks.
McCarthy has dubbed them “Pelosi Republicans”.
Many GOP members pushed the party’s leadership to punish Cheney and Kinzinger for accepting the House speaker’s committee invite, while their two colleagues were boycotted from the panel. However, they have remained on the committee, despite the pressures.
On Tuesday, the select panel will hold its first hearing that will begin with statements from four law enforcement officers who were struggling to defend the Capitol building on 6 January from an angry mob that tried to prevent the Congress from certifying Biden’s victory. An Air Force veteran, Ashli Elizabeth Babbitt, was shot dead by a Capitol Police officer during the riot, while law enforcement agent Brian Sicknick died the next day as the result of injuries he received during the storming. Three other deaths – two from natural causes and one from an overdose – have also been linked to the riot.