Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., on getting rejected to serve on the January 6th committee by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., said Tuesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., “must answer questions” about the intelligence reports related to the chaos that occurred” during the January 6th Capitol riot.
“I think this is a big reason why Speaker Pelosi removed and blocked me and [Rep.] Jim Jordan from serving on this committee because we wanted to ask questions about this,” Banks told “America’s Newsroom,” shortly before the start of the first hearing on the riot.
“How is it that three weeks prior to January 6th, intelligence reports were provided to the leadership of the Capitol Police that suggested that extremist groups would storm the Capitol and something dangerous would happen on that day and yet the Capitol was completely unprepared for what would happen?” Banks asked.
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol held its first hearing Tuesday, kicking off what is likely to be a politically charged and contentious several months focusing on the violent day.
The Tuesday hearing focuses on “The Law Enforcement Experience on January 6th.” The four witnesses at the hearing are Private First Class Harry Dunn and Sergeant Aquilino Gonell of the U.S. Capitol Police, and Officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of the Metropolitan Police Department.
Pelosi said would not appoint Banks and Jordan – two strong allies of former President Donald Trump – to the committee formed to investigate the cause of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and make recommendations on preventing future violence.
Her decision immediately sparked a backlash from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who called Pelosi’s move “unprecedented” and threatened to have all Republicans boycott the committee if Jordan and Banks didn’t get appointed.
Banks said what is known is that the Capitol police force was “unprepared.”
He explained that “there was a systemic breakdown of security” because “rank-and-file Capitol police officers that were working on January 6th were not briefed on the intelligence reports that were provided to the leadership of the Capitol police three weeks prior to the chaos.
“The more you ask these questions and unravel the facts about January 6th, the more you get into a line of questions that go up a chain of command that ends up on Speaker Pelosi’s desk,” Banks said.
“Why that set of questions isn’t allowed to be a part of what is asked today and in every hearing moving forward should tell every American what they already know this is a political stunt by Pelosi and Democrats and nothing more,” Banks said.