On Monday, the first felony conviction was handed down for those involved in the assault on the Capitol, with Paul Hodgkins getting 8 months in prison after breaching the Senate chamber while waving a Trump flag and carrying a length of rope. At the moment, 235 other defendants are facing the same charge on which Hodgkins was convicted.

On the same day, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy made it clear just how committed the Republican Party is to supported those insurgents, how little concern it has for either democracy or justice, and how committed it is to protecting the Big Lie. Because of the five Republicans McCarthy named to the House select committee on the January 6 insurgency, not one voted to impeach Trump, and three voted to overturn the results of the election. That includes both Trump favorite Rep. Jim Jordan, and one of the most reliably extreme voices in the House, Indiana Rep. Jim Banks. In fact Banks — who voted against impeachment, against the HEROES Act, and for some of the most disgusting anti-choice legislation imaginable — will be heading up the Republican team.

Banks has repeatedly dodged questions about why he’s defending people who smashed their way into the Capitol chanting that they wanted to hang fellow Hoosier Mike Pence. But as The Washington Post reports, he’s excited by the opportunity to sabotage the investigation into the events of January 6 which he says was created just to “justify the Left’s authoritarian agenda.”

Yes. For modern Republicans, those staging a coup are fine, but listening to the outcome of an election is an “authoritarian agenda.”

In addition to Banks and Jordan, McCarthy named Rep. Rodney Davis, Rep. Kelly Armstrong, and Rep. Troy Nehls. Davis and Armstrong are regarded as “moderates” in today’s Republican Party, meaning that they both hold what would once have been radically conservative viewpoints, but didn’t sign onto the attempt to overthrow the government. Nehls is an enthusiastic supporter of Trump who has downplayed events of that day, even though images from the House chamber showed him working with members of the Capitol Police in an effort to barricade the entrance.

McCarthy named his team after traveling to Bedminster, N.J. last week to meet with Trump. MCCarthy  claims the five Republicans named were “not a point of discussion.” Which presumably means that Trump just told him who to pick, and he did. Jordan has already proven himself effective at disrupting past hearings, including Trumps two impeachments.

All of these choices are coming at the last minute, with the committee set to hold its first hearing on Tuesday, That hearing is expected to include witnesses from both the Capitol Police and Metro D.C. Police.  

It’s clear that the addition of Banks, Jordan, and Nehls is intended to disrupt any actual progress by the committee. Jordan, well known as a reliable surrogate for Trump, and Banks, who is seen as a “rising star” after for his belligerent defense of the most extreme GOP positions, can be counted on to constantly confound the process and use every opportunity to bring proceedings to a halt. 

The selections by McCarthy need to be approved by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but considering the time constraints, it’s unclear if Speaker Pelosi will take any action to push back against these selections. 

As Republicans complain that the select committee is an attempt to smear conservatives, it’s worth recalling the committee only exists because Republicans made it impossible for an independent investigation to take place. In June, Republicans in the Senate filibustered to prevent the formation of the kind of independent commission that had followed past national tragedies.  As Laura Clawson wrote at the time, “Republicans are going to scream that it’s a partisan witch hunt no matter what Democrats do, so why allow them to also obstruct while they do so?”

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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