House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday slammed the committee investigating the January 6th riot at the Capitol as 'a sham that no one can believe.' 

His comments came as lawmakers prepared for their first hearing on what happened that day with four police officers caught in the melee testifying about their experience. 

'Speaker Pelosi will only pick on people on the committee that will ask the questions she wants asked - that becomes a failed committee and a failed report, a sham that no one can believe. If you want to do answers, do not be afraid of the questions that will get asked,' McCarthy said a press conference with Republican leaders.


Republicans sought to place the blame for the storming of Donald Trump's supporters on the Capitol on Pelosi, arguing without proof she was responsible for security that day.

'We now have a committee that all of America wants to know the answers to why were we ill prepared for that day, and how can we make sure that that will never happen again,' McCarthy argued.

House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik said: 'The American people deserve to know the truth. That Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility, as speaker of the House, for the tragedy that occurred on Jan. 6.'

Pelosi's office fired back. 

'McCarthy and House Republicans have desperately tried to undermine and prevent a real investigation into the events of January 6th from the start. Now that the bipartisan Select Committee is beginning its work, the only tools left in House Republicans’ arsenal are deflection, distortion, and disinformation,' the speaker's office said in a statement.

Pelosi doesn't direct the DC National Guard, which is actually under the purview of the White House. She does not oversee day-to-day operations in the Capitol and is not in charge of its security. 

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed the committee investigating the January 6th riot at the Capitol as 'a sham that no one can believe'

Republicans are trying to make the focus on Speaker Pelosi's role on the day of the riot and ignored questions about Donald Trump's role

Republicans are trying to make the focus on Speaker Pelosi's role on the day of the riot and ignored questions about Donald Trump's role


Republicans left out that Mitch McConnell, the Senate GOP Leader, was also in leadership on that day as they repeatedly tried to tie the lack of proper security preparation back to decisions made by Pelosi in the run up to January 6.  

McCarthy dismissed questions about Trump's role on that day, a question the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will examine as part of its probe.  


Instead, the Republicans, who were trying to set the stage before the committee gaveled its hearing to order later Tuesday morning, tried to keep the focus on the speaker and berated her for removing Republican Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks from the panel.

Rep. Steve Scalise, the Number 2 in House GOP Leadership, charged Pelosi with 'canceling' the two lawmakers.

'They got canceled by this new cancel culture that we see moving throughout the country led by Speaker Pelosi and a lot of our socialist allies here in Congress, where they want to shut out voices that raise tough questions that they don't want to be asked or answered,' he said.

The GOP leadership also complained they would have none of their people asking questions at the hearing. But Pelosi, who said she vetoed Banks and Jordan to protect the 'integrity' of the investigation, accepted McCarthy's other three picks. He pulled them in response to her veto of his other two lawmakers.

Two Republicans - Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger - will be part of the investigation and take part in questioning the four police officers about their experiences the day of the MAGA riot.

'This is absolutely not a game. This is deadly serious,' Cheney told ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday.

But the two are there at the invitation of Pelosi.

The two Republicans - both of whom voted for Trump's second impeachment and who have been vocal critics of the former president's - give the panel the veneer of bipartisanship.

McCarthy has combined his attacks on Pelosi with hits on his two wayward GOP lawmakers.

'She's broken Congress. Then it just makes the whole committee sham and the outcome predetermined,' McCarthy told reporters at the White House on Monday of Pelosi.

He also slammed Cheney and Kinzinger as 'Pelosi Republicans.' McCarthy, facing pressure from some conservatives in his GOP conference to punish the two lawmakers, merely told DailyMail.com 'we'll see' about any possible consequences. 

McCarthy standing alongside his chosen five GOP members
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Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy

The select committee investigating the January 6th riot at the Capitol holds its first hearing under a cloud of controversy Tuesday after Speaker Nancy Pelosi nixed two of House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy's choices

The hearing room in the Cannon House Office Building where the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol will hold its first hearing

The hearing room in the Cannon House Office Building where the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol will hold its first hearing

Rep. Lynn Cheney
Rep. Adam Kinzinger

Two Republicans - Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger - will be part of the investigation of the January 6th riot

Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6 to try and stop certification of Joe Biden's win in the presidential election

Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6 to try and stop certification of Joe Biden's win in the presidential election

In response, Cheney and Kinzinger called McCarthy 'childish' as they met with the seven Democrats serving on the committee in the Capitol Monday as part of their prep session. 

'We've got very serious business here. We have important work to do,' Cheney said to reporters on Capitol Hill.  She was booted off the House GOP leadership team earlier this year for her criticism of Trump.

Kinzinger said that McCarthy 'can call me whatever names he wants,' before reassuring, 'I'm a Republican.'

'If the conference decided, or if Kevin decides, they want to punish Liz Cheney and I for getting to the bottom and telling the truth, I think that probably says more about them than it does for us,' he continued.

McCarthy offered a privileged resolution on the House floor on Monday night to seat all five of his original picks. 

But Democrats easily voted it down - with Kinzinger and Cheney joining them to kill McCarthy's attempt to get his people back on the panel.  

At Tuesday's hearing, the lawmakers will hear from four police officers who were at the Capitol on January 6th, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the building, leaving five people dead and a trail of destruction.

The officers are:  

  • Harry Dunn, Private First Class, U.S. Capitol Police 
  • Aquilino Gonell, Sergeant, U.S. Capitol Police 
  • Michael Fanone, Officer, Metropolitan Police Department 
  • Daniel Hodges, Officer, Metropolitan Police Department  

The hearing will include footage from the day of the riot never seen before, according to Rep. Adam Schiff, one of the panel members.

'I hope they'll get a much better sense of what it was like to be on the front lines that day, what these officers endured, the fact that many of them thought it was going to be their last day of life that they were going to die defending the Capitol, and sustain grievous injuries,' he told CNN of Tuesday's hearing.

'They'll see some footage that they've never seen before,' he added. 

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