No matter Pelosi’s reasoning, her decision to reject Jordan and Banks, the two most high-profile Republicans put forward by McCarthy, dooms even the possibility of the committee being perceived as bipartisan or its eventual findings being seen as independent.
Pelosi and her Democratic defenders will cast the decision as the only one she really had available to her after McCarthy made his picks known earlier this week.
Knowing this, Pelosi’s move is rightly understood as robbing Republicans of that platform. But it also dooms the committee — before it even holds a single hearing or meeting.
“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 in a statement.
You can be sure every Republican will use Pelosi’s rejection of their nominees as evidence that she doesn’t want the, uh, truth to come out.
This isn’t true, of course. There’s zero evidence that suggests Pelosi or Democrats did anything wrong in advance of or during the January 6 riot, which was incited by former President Donald Trump. But Pelosi has handed Republicans a golden issue to rev up their base in advance of the 2022 midterms — and you can bet they will use it.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated in one instance how Pelosi responded to the nominations of Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks to serve on the select committee; she rejected them.