Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) has revealed what he planned on doing as the ranking member of the select committee investigating the Capitol riot, which may have been one of the factors Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to accept him on the committee.
According to CNN, Banks planned on calling the head of the Capitol Police Union, a loud critic of the security failures from that day, to testify as a GOP witness. Banks had been planning with Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the select committee's chairman, Tuesday evening on how the logistics of the investigation would work after it was announced he would be the ranking member.
By Wednesday morning, Pelosi said Banks, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), would not serve on the panel.
"There was no indication at that point that we wouldn't be working together," Banks told CNN. "But what's become obviously clear to me is that, because we immediately started asking questions about the vulnerabilities in the Capitol on January 6, they're not comfortable with that ... They were spooked."
In an interview with Breitbart, Banks said the select committee was nothing more than a "witch hunt."
"They were never interested in asking the questions that mattered about January 6," Banks said. "They wanted this to be a political witch hunt from the very beginning to go after Donald Trump, to go after Republicans in Congress, and to go after 75 million people who voted for Donald Trump."
He added that when he met with Capitol Police union head Gus Papathanasiou, "there are serious concerns that they raise about the lack of preparation, the lack of training, the lack of equipment, and the Democrats do not want the head of the Capitol Police union to testify on Tuesday," because it could lead back to Pelosi.
Why would the Democrats refuse to hear from the head of the U.S. Capitol Police Union?— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) July 22, 2021
Banks said Thompson rejected Banks' request for Papathanasiou to testify before the committee.
In response to Pelosi refusing to seat Banks and Jordan, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has pulled the rest of the GOP members, leaving Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) — who was named to the select committee by Pelosi — as the only remaining Republican.