House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) five picks to serve on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot are mostly members who objected to certifying the election that day and includes one of the most prolific Republican fundraisers in the House outside of Republican leadership.
And many of the Republicans have also already made clear their goal is not to work with Democrats on the committee and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was appointed to the committee by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) will serve as the ranking member of the committee, and Reps. Rodney Davis (Ill.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) and Troy Nehls (R-Texas) make up the rest of McCarthy’s picks. Banks, Jordan and Nehls all voted to object to the election results in January.
Banks, who said he “will force the Democrats and the media to answer questions so far ignored” after being appointed, raised $283,683 in the second quarter of 2021. Banks also said Pelosi created the committee to “malign conservatives”.
While several Republican members raised more than Banks, it’s close to a personal best for the Indiana congressman. During the first quarter of 2021, Banks brought in $112,235. For some perspective on just how much money Banks has raised, in the entire 2020 election cycle, Banks hauled in $1.2 million. That means Banks has already raised more than 32% of his 2020 election cycle total in the first two quarters of 2021, more than a year out from the 2022 election.
The most vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump and biggest fundraiser of McCarthy’s picks is Jordan. Jordan was one of Trump’s loudest defenders throughout the former president’s tenure. During Trump’s first impeachment hearing in 2020, Jordan routinely called the Muller investigation the “Russia hoax” created by Democrats to go after Trump. After McCarthy selected Jordan to serve on the select committee, Jordan referred to the committee as “impeachment round three”.
However, Jordan’s loyalty to the former president has helped his fundraising efforts boom. Jordan raised nearly $1.6 million in the second quarter of 2021. That brings contributions since Jan. 1 to $3.7 million. Before and after the 2020 presidential election, Jordan made a series of misleading claims that were echoed during the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6. In December Jordan said he didn’t know if “you can ever convince me that President Trump didn’t actually win” and tweeted in October that Democrats are “trying to steal the election.”
Jordan raised $18.3 million in the 2020 election cycle — the eighth most of all House candidates, and fifth highest raiser among GOP House candidates.
Nehls, the final McCarthy pick who objected to the election results in January, raised $165,491 in the second quarter of 2021 — that’s more than the Texas congressman brought in during the first quarter ($147,020). Nehls is in his first term in Congress and while Trump endorsed him before the election, Nehls had to distance himself from the former president to win his battleground district. The congressman won his district, which sits just outside of Houston, by about 5 points.
However, upon getting to Washington, Nehls made his position on Trump clear: On Jan. 5 Nehls tweeted he would object to counting the electoral votes because he would “fight for President Trump and election integrity.” During the riot, though, Nehls was one of the lawmakers who tried to speak with rioters alongside police as rioters attempted to gain access to the House floor. He tweeted at the time that he was witnessing “a disgrace.”
Davis and Armstrong, McCarthy’s only picks who did not object to the election results, brought in $482,816 and $185,170 during the second quarter respectively. While Davis and Armstrong bucked Trump to vote to certify the election, they both joined the majority of House Republicans to vote against impeaching the former president for his actions on Jan. 6.
Pelosi holds veto power over McCarthy’s picks for the committee, and some Democrats are pressuring her to veto Jordan’s appointment. On Tuesday, Pelosi said she was “reviewing” the selections.
“I’m considering his proposals,” Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday. “But to be clear, how people voted on the president — affirming the election of Joe Biden — is not a criterion for service.”
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