By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS  – The Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was a “political” move unleashed by a sitting U.S. president seeking to overturn an election.

The U.S. Senate rejected a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission, with U.S. Sen. Mike Braun deeming it “political.”

Ditto for the U.S. House with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy rejecting a bipartisan plan that had been negotiated by Republican U.S. Rep. John Katko.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi created a Jan. 6 “select committee,” stocked it with Democrats and ousted GOP leader Liz Cheney. McCarthy waffled for almost a month, before making his five selections, including U.S. Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Pelosi retaliated on Wednesday, bouncing both Banks and Jordan six days before the committee was to meet for the first time.

“With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Reps. Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee,” Pelosi said in a statement on Wednesday. “The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.”

Banks and Jordan both voted to overturn the election results on Jan. 6 and Pelosi said their appointments could impact “the integrity of the investigation.”

Pelosi said that she was “prepared to appoint Reps. Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong and Troy E. Nehls.” 

Appearing at a press conference with Banks and Jordan mid-day Wednesday, McCarthy said, “Denying the voices of members who have served in the military and law enforcement, as well as leaders of standing committees, has made it undeniable that this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility. Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts.”

Asked at his press conference if he was still prepared to testify about his phone call with Trump during the riot, McCarthy said his phone call is “out there.”

“The question is, you make a phone call after people are in the Capitol to advise the president of what’s going on, doesn’t get to the answer of why were we ill-prepared,” he said. “That’s really playing politics, and it really shows if that’s the issue that they want to go to, before they want to drive, we don’t get all the answers.”

Banks, who chairs the Republican Study Committee, released a statement, saying, “I’m a sitting member of Congress and served my country in Afghanistan and the Speaker knows how hard I will fight for my country. We said all along that this was a purely partisan exercise by the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi’s rejection of me and Jim Jordan shows once again she is the most partisan figure in America today. The American people deserve the truth. Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi is afraid of the facts.”

At the presser with McCarthy, Banks added, “This just goes to show how partisan this effort was all along, that Nancy Pelosi would take me and Jim Jordan first off of this committee, she knows we were prepared to fight to find the truth. She doesn’t want to go down that path. She knows we’re already asking questions during the first couple of days ... questions that Democrats never asked like why the Capitol was vulnerable that day when we had intelligence for weeks leading up to Jan. 6 that told us that something dangerous would happen on Jan. 6. She knew we would fight back against their political games. That’s why she didn’t want us to participate.

“It goes to show this was an entirely political exercise on her part,” Banks said. “It’s a shame and the American people deserve better. They demand answers about Jan. 6 as the American people demand their leaders step up and never allow it to happen again.”

Rep. Armstrong reacted, saying, “It’s bullshit. Jim Banks and Jim Jordan have every right to serve on any committee Kevin appoints them to. Whenever Speaker Pelosi uses the word ‘unprecedented,’ it is code for her consolidation of absolute power. She is willing to do anything and everything to maintain control over her conference for the next 18 months.”

Rep. Cheney supported Pelosi, saying, “I agree with what the speaker has done. At every opportunity, the minority leader has sought to prevent the American people from understanding what happened; to block this investigation. This investigation must go forward.”

Cheney said that Banks was using the panel as a political platform, which she called “disgraceful.”

Politico reported that senior Democrats on the select committee and two close Pelosi allies — Chair Bennie Thompson and Rep. Zoe Lofgren  — were dead set against having Jordan and Banks on the panel after Banks twice met with Donald Trump at the Texas/Mexican border and at Bedminster this summer.

Politico’s Rachael Bade observed: “This move by Pelosi is going to be a gift to Kevin McCarthy in the long run. He wanted this panel to look partisan and political. Now it’s definitely going to look partsian and political.”

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill: “The panel is already bipartisan and has a quorem. There’s nothing partisan about seeking the truth.”