Nancy Pelosi had two choices in determining who would be part of a House committee that will meet next week to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
She could accept the five appointees made by minority House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday, and thus ensure skeptics the Democrats had pure motives in holding the hearings. Or, she could do the politically smart thing and remove nemesis Jim Jordan and others from the panel, thus giving Democrats a platform to malign conservatives.
Not surprisingly, she chose politics over integrity.
Then, with a straight face, Pelosi argued her decision to veto the appointments of Jordan and Indiana Rep. Jim Banks was made to ensure the “integrity” of the investigation, noting both Jordan and Banks are outspoken allies of former President Donald Trump.
The irony with that is Pelosi has said the commission was created to “investigate and report upon the facts and causes of the attack” and that “it will find the truth, which clearly the Republicans fear.”
But in doing so, wouldn’t it be better to hear questions from both sides?
And who is fearing who?
Ever since Jordan was picked Monday night, Democrats have urged Pelosi to remove him. They note the congressman defended Trump during both of his impeachment proceedings. Jordan and Banks were also among the 139 House Republicans who voted to overturn the election results.
Pelosi has long been disturbed by Jordan’s attack-dog demeanor during previous congressional hearings. The two have often sparred.
Yet, if Democrats were serious about seeking “the truth” during these hearings, they wouldn’t have benched two congressmen with opposing viewpoints.
Now we have a tit-for-tat.
McCarthy said the GOP won’t participate in the investigation if Democrats won’t accept the members he appointed.
Democrats have said the investigation will go on whether the Republicans participate or not, as Pelosi has already appointed eight of the 13 members — including Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, a Trump critic — and that gives them a quorum to proceed, according to committee rules.
The hearings may go on, but the panel has lost all legitimacy because of Pelosi’s actions.
Make no mistake about that.