When House Democrats started clamoring for their own January 6 commission, it was never about the facts. But the last person anyone expected to admit that is Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). But this week, the California leader showed her cards when she booted two of the five Republicans off the roster because she was terrified they'd ask some hard questions. And hard questions, we all know, is not what this probe is about. Political theater is.
When House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) submitted his five names for the supposedly bipartisan investigation, Pelosi knew that Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wouldn't let her party get away with the pack of lies they've been trying to sell about that day for seven months -- namely that Republicans and their supporters were responsible for the tragedy at the Capitol. So, she made up some lame excuse that Democrats needed to protect the "integrity of the investigation" and rejected the two conservatives. Seething, McCarthy fired back that if that's the way Pelosi wants to play it, then she can go ahead with their "bipartisan" committee without them. "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."
"[She] just proved what we said all along," Banks said on "Washington Watch." "We said at the beginning that this was a political sham, a stunt by the Democrats to distract from everything going on in the country today. Democrats don't want to talk about rising crime waves around the country, inflation rampant and growing. They don't want to talk about the border crisis. They don't want to talk about the anti-Americanism and critical race theory that's being taught in our institutions [and] in our schools... They want to talk about Donald Trump. They want to talk about January 6. They want to drag Republicans through the mud and they want to drag 75 million people in America who voted for Donald Trump through the mud. That's what they want to focus on. They don't want to focus on anything else."
As Banks pointed out, the D.C. police has an investigation, the FBI has an investigation, the U.S. Senate had an investigation -- and others are ongoing. There's no need for Nancy Pelosi to rehash what law enforcement and intelligence experts already are -- unless the purpose is to malign conservatives and score political points. In the Senate report, which was the product of real bipartisanship, members came to some pretty damning conclusions. Conclusions, Banks agreed, that Pelosi doesn't want to answer for. Like, "why was the Capitol vulnerable on January 6to begin with -- when we had intelligence three weeks before January 6 that told us something was going to happen on that day?"
If this is truly a sincere effort to make sure what happened never happens again, then we need to talk about the complete disintegration of leadership and security that allowed the Capitol to be vulnerable. According to the Senate's report, the fault lies squarely with the U.S. Capitol Police and a failure to respond to inter-agency intelligence from the FBI and Homeland Security. "The big takeaway here is this," Banks said. "Who is at the top of the food chain in the United States Capitol? It's the speaker of the House. She's the most powerful person in the United States Capitol, and she is ultimately accountable for the leadership of the U.S. Capitol Police."
He and others have talked to the head of the U.S. Capitol Police Union, who openly says that his men and women were not prepared for what happened that day. They didn't know how to handle the information they'd gotten three weeks before, they didn't have the right equipment to respond to the threat, "and they blame the leadership of the Capitol Police at the time, who happened to report to the speaker of the House. Why would we not want that to be part of a serious investigation?" And while we're at it, he argues, how about investigating the year of violence and bloodshed we've seen on our streets as a direct result of the far-Left's support and encouragement? "If Democrats were serious about investigating political violence, this committee would be studying not only the January 6 riot at the Capitol, but also the hundreds of violent political riots last summer when many more innocent Americans and law-enforcement officers were attacked," Banks insisted.
Turns out, Americans agree with him. More voters want Congress to investigate the riots of 2020 than the January 6 rampage, a new Rasmussen/National Police Association poll says. A whopping 66 percent of Americans "think Congress should investigate last year's violent protests, in which more than 2,000 police officers suffered injuries in the line of duty," compared to only 49 percent of voters who support Pelosi's farce of a select committee. And that includes "majorities of every racial group and political affiliation." Another 63 percent think Black Lives Matter rioters should be criminally charged like the January 6 rioters have been.
The American people are on to the Left's hypocrisy here. Democrats will never be taken seriously on law and order unless they stop using it as a political prop to trot out when it's convenient. Violence is always wrong -- from the Right, the Left, and anything in between. A party that can't admit as much doesn't deserve the public's trust or the House's gavel.
** This Sunday, July 25, I'll be preaching at the church of our good friend Pastor Gary Hamrick, Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia. Join me for the 8:30, 10:00, or 11:45 a.m. services -- or watch the livestream here.