The Jan. 6 select committee is pushing back at a challenge to its legitimacy, citing a probe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., once derided, Politico is reporting.
In a late-night court filing, House Counsel Douglas Letter defended the Democrat-controlled select panel against claims it is invalid since Republican leaders have not appointed any of its members.
Letter pointed to the formation in 2005 of a select committee, which was set up to investigate the government response to Hurricane Katrina.
That panel was made up of 11 Republicans appointed by then-Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Pelosi had objected to the committee and called it a partisan “sham," according to Politico.
Letter’s defense of the Jan. 6 panel came in a case involving Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for former President Donald Trump. Budowich wants the committee to return his bank records, which it obtained last month from JPMorgan Chase. He maintains the Jan. 6 panel is structurally flawed.
Pelosi had rejected two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s five appointees to the panel — Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Jim Banks, R-Ind. She had claimed they were too intertwined with Trump to be credible.
McCarthy, R-Calif., then withdrew his other three appointees in protest.
Now he has rejected the Jan. 6 committee's call for him to testify on his private communications, rebuking the "illegitimate" investigation as an "abuse of power."
"This committee is not conducting a legitimate investigation as Speaker Pelosi took the unprecedented action of rejecting the Republican members I named to serve on the committee," McCarthy said in a statement. "It is not serving any legislative purpose. The committee's only objective is to attempt to damage its political opponents — acting like the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee one day and the DOJ the next."
Politico noted that Trump allies who are facing subpoenas from the committee have maintained that the lack of GOP-appointed members is evidence the committee is not operating properly.
They point out that the House’s rules for subpoenas and depositions require talks between majority and minority members, which is not possible for a panel that has no formal GOP-appointed members, the news outlet said.
The panel’s two GOP Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., were named to the committee by Pelosi.
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