GOP Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana said on Sunday he believes that he and fellow Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio were blocked from serving on a committee to investigate the origins of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi because the California Democrat is looking to push certain political narratives and doesn’t want to be exposed as having any culpability for the incident.
In an interview with “Fox News Sunday” guest host Martha MacCallum, Banks responded to Pelosi’s unprecedented decision last week to bar him and Jordan from serving on the committee after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy named them and three other Republicans to the panel, leading the California Republican to pull all five GOP members in response and vow that his party would conduct their own probe.
Banks said he thinks Pelosi is preventing him from serving because he’ll point out there was a “breakdown in security” for the Capitol Building the day of the protest that she, in large part, was responsible for ensuring.
“It’s more clear than ever that Nancy Pelosi is not interested in an investigation. She’s only interested in a narrative. She claims the reason that she booted me from the committee was because of antics on the part of Jim Jordan and I,” Banks said.
(Video: Fox News)
“In hindsight, what I realize what she means by that now is that we were prepared to ask questions that no one else has asked and demand answers as to why the Capitol was vulnerable to an attack on January 6th,” he continued.
“Why was there a systemic breakdown of security at the Capitol on January 6th? If you’re going to investigate January 6th, why not ask those questions?” he continued. “That’s all that this comes down to. She has already predetermined a narrative about Donald Trump, about Republicans.
“She doesn’t want to talk about what happened at the Capitol that day to make sure something like that never happens again,” he added.
MacCallum asked Banks if he believes that Pelosi “has concerns” about the issues he raised regarding “how that security breakdown” occurred, asking: “Do you think she feels it will reflect poorly on her?
Banks was clear that he believes it would and thus, the Speaker wants that part of the Jan. 6 story to remain hidden.
The Indiana Republican also said he recently spoke to a Capitol Police union official who said officers were not properly deployed or prepared for what occurred Jan. 6, despite intelligence reporting indicating that a lot of people would be in Washington, D.C., to hear then-President Donald Trump speak and that some of them were plotting trouble.
“I really do and here’s why, on Wednesday before I found out that I was banned from the committee — I found out, by the way, on Twitter—I was meeting with the head of the U.S. Capitol Police Union who represent the rank-and-file heroes that make up the Capitol Police who protect me, my family, my staff, every single day,” Banks said.
“He told me, the head of the Capitol Police union told me that on January 6, the Capitol Police officers weren’t prepared for what was going to happen even though the head of the Capitol Police had intelligence reports dating back to three weeks before January 6th that something potentially very dangerous could happen that day,” he noted further.
“They weren’t prepared for it, they weren’t trained for it, and maybe most important of all, they weren’t equipped for it,” he said.
“They lacked equipment, basic equipment, to take care of something like what should, at that point, should have been expected would occur,” he added.
Instead of Banks and Jordan, Pelosi is persuing anti-Trump Republicans — Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who has already accepted a spot on the committee, and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, whom Pelosi indicated on Sunday she is considering.
“Here’s the bottom line, once you go up to the top of the flagpole of who is in charge of the Capitol Police, who the Capitol Police union chief, they blamed the leadership of the Capitol Police,” Banks said.
“But due to the rules of the United States Capitol, the power structure of the Capitol, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, has more control and authority, and responsibility over the leadership of the Capitol Police than anyone else in the United States Capitol,” he added. “So she doesn’t want us to ask these questions because, at the end of the day, she is ultimately responsible for the breakdown of security at the Capitol that happened on January 6.”
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