After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vetoed the inclusion of Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jim Banks (R-IN) in the January 6 select committee because of their statements and actions to undermine it, Jordan continued his false attacks against Pelosi for investigating the insurrection during a short tour of right-wing media outlets.
In her July 21 statement rejecting Jordan and Banks, Pelosi called it an “unprecedented decision” based on “the unprecedented nature of January 6th.” The insurrection by Trump supporters caused five deaths as well as more than 100 injuries among law enforcement officers and jeopardized the peaceful transfer of power between presidential administrations.
Pelosi said Jordan and Banks’ inclusion on the committee could affect “the integrity of the investigation” because of “statements made and actions taken” by them. The New York Times reported on some of these troubling statements and actions:
Mr. Jordan said in December that there was “no way” Mr. Trump should concede the election, even after the Electoral College certified Mr. Biden’s victory.
“No. No way, no way, no way” Mr. Trump should concede, he told CNN in December, adding: “We should still try to figure out exactly what took place here. And as I said, that includes, I think, debates on the House floor — potentially on Jan. 6.”
“Americans instinctively know there was something wrong with this election,” Mr. Jordan said, arguing for invalidating electoral votes for Mr. Biden on Jan. 6. “During the campaign, Vice President Biden would do an event and he’d get 50 people at the event. President Trump at just one rally gets 50,000 people.”
Mr. Jordan has repeatedly sought to equate the attack on the Capitol to unrest around last summer’s racial justice protests, and accused Democrats of hypocritically trying to punish Mr. Trump for the riot while refusing to condemn left-wing violence. He signaled that he would use the Jan. 6 investigation to push that narrative.
Mr. Banks released a statement after he was chosen to serve as the top Republican on the panel that seemingly referred to the violent rioters as patriotic Americans expressing their political views. He said he would use the committee to turn the spotlight back on Democrats, scrutinizing why the Capitol was not better prepared for the attack, as well as unrelated “political riots” last summer during the national wave of protest against systemic racism.
Jordan, with some of his Republican colleagues and right-wing media allies, has for months tried to falsely blame Pelosi for the attack on the Capitol. During his various right-wing media appearances after Pelosi removed him from the committee, Jordan made clear he would continue with this smear.
- On Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, Jordan said: “Why wasn’t there a proper security presence? And that’s a question that … only the speaker of the United States House of Representatives can answer.”
- On One America News’ Real America, Jordan said: “There’s a basic fundamental question that should be the focus, and that is: Why wasn’t there a proper security posture, proper security presence here that day? … And the only person who can answer that question is the speaker of the House.”
- On Sinclair Broadcast Group’s The National Desk, Jordan said of Pelosi: “I don’t think she wants Republicans asking the fundamental question. And that fundamental question is, why wasn’t there a proper security presence that day? … The only person who can answer that question is the speaker of the United States House of Representatives.”
- On The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show, Jordan again repeated this tired lie, claiming that “they didn’t want us on there because we were going to ask a fundamental question, which is why wasn't there a proper security presence that day. And frankly that’s a question only the speaker of the House can answer.”
The hosts of these conservative media programs allowed Jordan to get away with this lie. And Banks followed Jordan’s footsteps, lying to Fox News Sunday that Pelosi “has more control and authority and responsibility over the leadership of the Capitol Police than anyone else in the United States Capitol.”
Multiple fact checks have determined that these Republican claims blaming Pelosi for security failures at the Capitol are false:
- CNN: “The Speaker of the House is not in charge of Capitol security. That's the responsibility of the Capitol Police Board, which oversees the US Capitol Police and approves requests for National Guard assistance.”
- The Associated Press: “Posts falsely cite Pelosi as responsible for security during Capitol insurrection.”
- PolitiFact: “Capitol security is not solely the responsibility of the House speaker. It is provided by the sergeants-at-arms of the House and Senate, and by the Capitol Police.”
- USA Today: “The Capitol Police force is responsible for protecting the building and is overseen by a Capitol Police Board, and committees from the House of Representatives and Senate, according to a USCP spokesperson. Pelosi is not directly responsible for overseeing Capitol Police force operations.”
- Agence France-Presse: “Pelosi did not reject appeals for troops to secure US Capitol.”