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House committee investigation into Jan. 6 is off to a turbulent start. Here’s why

Tucker Carlson called a Black Capitol Police officer who defended Congress on Jan. 6 an ‘angry, left-wing political activist’

SHARE House committee investigation into Jan. 6 is off to a turbulent start. Here’s why
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republicans, Rep. Jim Banks and Rep. Jim Jordan.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., left, is joined by his picks for the Jan. 6 Select Committee after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two Republicans, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., center, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, right, for the committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

The Democrat-led committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection is off to a turbulent start.

Disarray over the House Select Committee to Investigate January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol escalated Wednesday as party leaders sparred over who could serve on the investigative body.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., withdrew his handful of nominees to the committee on Wednesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., refused to allow two of McCarthy’s five nominations from participating in the House’s investigation into Jan. 6, The Hill reported.

  • Pelosi, who has final approval of the committee’s members, said in a statement Wednesday that she “must reject the recommendations” of Republican Congressmen Jim Banks, of Indiana, and Jim Jordan, of Ohio, to the investigative team.
  • Both Jordan and Banks have been adamant supporters of former President Donald Trump, who was impeached for “incitement of insurrection” after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6., according the The Hill.

McCarthy promptly pushed back against Pelosi’s rejection of two congressmen to the committee, and, in a statement, called the speaker’s actions “an egregious abuse of power.”

  • The minority leader said that unless all five nominees are approved — which includes Reps. Rodney Davis, of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong, of North Dakota, and Troy Nehls, of Texas, that were OK’d by Pelosi — Republicans would “pursue their own investigation.”
  • “They (Democrats) want to make this all about Donald Trump, dragging Republican members of Congress through the mud and attacking 75 million people that voted for Donald Trump,” Banks alleged in an interview with the New York Post on Wednesday.

Political tensions over Jan. 6 select committee started months ago

On July 1, Pelosi announced the first eight members of the House select committee, a list that included seven Democrats and Republican Liz Cheney, of Wyoming. McCarthy, the leader of House Republicans, said he was “shocked” by Cheney’s decision to join the group.

  • “What happened on January 6th can never happen again. Those who are responsible for the attack need to be held accountable and this select committee will fulfill that responsibility in a professional, expeditious, and nonpartisan manner,” Cheney said in statement at the time.

A day earlier, on June 30, the House voted nearly along political lines to create its own select committee to dig into the details of what happened on Jan. 6. Pelosi said then that she’d hoped Congress would have created a bipartisan commission — similar to that of the 9/11 Commission — but that legislation was filibustered by Senate Republicans ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

Only two House Republicans — Cheney and Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger — joined the Democratic majority in the chamber to approve the select committee. “We need a full accounting of what happened on Jan. 6, 2021 — we need answers on who was involved in the insurrection and who played a role in orchestrating it. We need transparency and truth,” Kinzinger said in June after voting for the investigation.

  • Politico reported Thursday that Pelosi is considering adding Kinzinger to the committee. The Illinois congressman was not nominated by his own party leadership.
  • Cheney told Politico that she supported the addition of Kinzinger and that he’d be a “tremendous addition to the committee.”

Tucker Carlson berates Capitol Police officer on Fox News

On Wednesday, Fox New host Tucker Carlson accused Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn of being an “angry, left-wing political activist,” NBC News reported. Carlson’s attack comes a week before Dunn, who helped defend the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, is scheduled to testify to the House select committee, according to NBC News.

  • “Dunn will pretend to speak for the country’s law enforcement community, but it turns out Dunn has very little in common with your average cop,” the Fox News host said.

Dunn, a Black man, told The Washington Post in a March interview that he was called the N-word by Trump’s supporters during the Jan. 6 insurrection. The officer told the Post that Black cops who defended members of Congress then “were fighting a different fight.” 

  • “Our client has served 13 years in law enforcement and on January 6, 2021, fought against an insurrectionist violent crowd — no doubt many of them Carlson’s supporters — to protect the lives of our elected officials, including Vice President Pence,” Dunn’s attorneys wrote in a Twitter post Wednesday, the Post reported.

The House committee will have its first hearing on Tuesday, July 27, which will include testimonies from Dunn and other law enforcement officers who defended Congress, CNN reported.