Donald Trump says Kevin McCarthy made a mistake boycotting the Jan. 6 inquest and says he should have appointed other Republicans to the special committee after his election was snubbed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The former president told Punchbowl News on Tuesday afternoon that it would be good to have at least one vote on the panel as it conducts very public and televised hearings.
“Well, in hindsight, I think it would have been very wise to put ‘Republicans’ on the committee to have just one vote,” Trump said.
“From one point of view I wasn’t involved, so I never looked too closely,” he added. “But I think it would have been good if we had had a substitute.”
“Republicans have no vote. They don’t even have a say,” lamented the former president.
As the committee was taking shape in the Democrat-led House of Representatives shortly after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, GOP Minority Leader McCarthy selected five members of his faction to serve him – Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, Jim Jordan Ohio and Illinois’ Rodney Davis, North Dakota’s Kelly Armstrong, and Texas’ Troy Nehls.
Pelosi dismissed Banks and Jordan because she said their “statements and actions” would compromise the “integrity of the investigation.”
Both pro-Trump lawmakers voted against certifying election results in at least one state on Jan. 6, 2021 — but neither did Nehls and Pelosi oppose it as a choice for the body.
In response to Pelosi, McCarthy boycotted the inquiry outright and barred his party from serving on the select committee.
However, Pelosi found two anti-Trump Republicans willing to go against her party and join the body in Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
Donald Trump believes Kevin McCarthy “no question” made a mistake by not nominating the Republicans to the Jan. 6 selection committee — even after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi snubbed two of his original picks
Pelosi selected anti-Trump Republican MPs Liz Cheney (left) and Adam Kinzinger (right) to serve on the committee as no other GOP members are willing to break with leader McCarthy
In response, the Republican National Committee and the Wyoming GOP reprimanded Cheney, and she was fired from her party No. 3 post as chair of the GOP conference. She was replaced by Representative Elise Stefanik from New York.
Cheney will most likely lose re-election for her at-large seat to Trump-backed candidate Harriet Hageman, while Kinzinger is not running for another term.
“I think it would have been much better to have Republicans [on the panel]’ Trump told Punchbowl, adding that Banks and Jordan are ‘great’ picks from McCarthy.
“They were great and it would have been great to have them,” he said. “But when Pelosi mistakenly disallowed them, we should have picked other people. We have a lot of good people in the Republican Party.”
He added that there is “not even a question” that McCarthy should have put Republicans on the select committee.
Trump doesn’t consider Cheney and Kinzinger to be true Republicans — he calls them and other anti-Trump GOP members “RINOs,” meaning “Republicans in name only.”
McCarthy doesn’t think Pelosi should have the ability to choose which members of his committee get to sit on committees.
“We never let Nancy Pelosi choose who sits on our committee,” McCarthy said in an interview Tuesday.
“The whole narrative shows that everything is partial,” he added. “This whole thing was about politics.”
Kevin McCarthy decided his party would boycott the inquiry to make it appear like a one-sided witch hunt after Pelosi rejected his selection for the selection committee. “We never let Nancy Pelosi choose who sits on our committee,” McCarthy said Tuesday. “The whole narrative shows that everything is partial. This whole thing was about politics
Pelosi would not admit GOP representatives Jim Jordan (left) and Jim Banks (right) to the committee because she said their “statements and actions” compromised the “integrity of the investigation.”
“We said we would attend,” McCarthy said of the investigation into the events around and on the day of January 6, 2021. “We bet on who we wanted. But the only people who can bet on it are people who approved it. That will never happen. It’s purely politics.’
The Jan. 6 Special Committee has been in its hearings for two weeks, of which four have been held so far.
McCarthy felt that if Republicans stay seated, he could portray the proceedings as a one-sided “witch hunt” — even with Cheney and Kinzinger present.
Other Republicans are beginning to quietly wonder if it would have been better if they had sat at the table.
The committee is expected to hold at least four more hearings in the coming weeks to conclude that Donald Trump knew he had lost the 2020 presidential election but still spread the “big lie” and that his actions — and lack thereof of actions – ultimately leading to the deadly riot in the Capitol.