Pelosi says special Jan. 6 Capitol siege committee with forge ahead - with or without GOP members

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy McCarthy calls the committee a "sham process." 

Updated: July 23, 2021 - 9:10am

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s forging ahead with her special committee to investigate the Jan 6. Capitol siege – with or without Republican members.

Pelosi staked out her position Thursday after a high-stakes exchange with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in which he appointed five GOP members and she rejected two – prompting McCarthy to say he might withdraw all of his choices.

Pelosi declared the so-called "select" committee will take on its "deadly serious" work whether Republicans participate or not, according to the Associated Press

McCarthy, a California Republican, called the committee a "sham process" and suggested that GOP lawmakers who take part could face consequences. 

McCarthy said Pelosi’s rejection of two of the Republicans he had attempted to appoint – former President Trump allies Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana – was an "egregious abuse of power."

The committee hearings are set to start early next week.

Pelosi proposed the select committee after House Republicans rejected her effort to create a 9/11-style, independent commission.

As the leader of the Democrat-controlled House, Pelosi has authority over who can be on the select committee and has already appointed outspoken Trump critic Wyoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney. And she reportedly is considering Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, another Trump critic.

Pelosi made clear Thursday that she won’t relent, and Democrats mulled filling the empty seats themselves

“It is my responsibility as the speaker of the House to make sure we get to the truth of this, and we will not let their antics stand in the way of that,” Pelosi said of the Republicans, the wire service also reports.