Lawsuit warns Pelosi's partisan Jan. 6 commission failed to follow rules

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gives remarks before President Joe Biden signs the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House photo by Cameron Smith)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gives remarks before President Joe Biden signs the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House photo by Cameron Smith)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s partisan committee appointed to investigate the Jan. 6 melee at the U.S. Capitol, which involved police shooting one woman and some vandalism inside the building, may be in trouble.

It already has heard from hundreds of witnesses – as authorities prosecute many on trespassing and other related charges.

And it also has brought a contempt of Congress case against Steve Bannon, a former adviser to President Trump, and it appears to be launching a similar move against former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows.

But Meadows has responded with a lawsuit that points out the commission failed to follow the rules the House adopted when creating it, so it may be unqualified to issue subpoenas or bring cases.

The revelations are outlined by Margot Cleveland at The Federalist.

She explains Meadows’ 40-plus page lawsuit “presents a litany of reasons the subpoenas are invalid, but his first argument – that the subpoenas are invalid because they were not ‘issued by a duly authorized committee’ – both presents Meadows with a strong argument to quash the subpoenas and provides Trump fodder in his separate lawsuit and claim of executive privilege.”

The assembly of the committee proved to be political at the outset, as the GOP, in the minority in the House, was to name five members, which it did.

But Pelosi, apparently on nothing more than political grounds, refused to seat Republican Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks. As a result, none of the five nominated Republicans joined the committee, and Pelosi was left to seek out and recruit two virulently anti-Trump members of the GOP, Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, to give it the image of bipartisanship.

But Cleveland explained, “House Resolution 503 created the January 6, 2021, Select Committee, Meadows’s argument begins, then stressing that Section 2(a) of that resolution requires House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to ‘appoint 13 Members to the Select Committee, 5 of whom shall be appointed after consultation with the minority leader.’ But ‘Speaker Pelosi has appointed only nine members to the Select Committee: seven Democrats and two Republicans,’ the complaint alleges. ‘None of these members was appointed from the selection of five GOP congressman put forth by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy,’ Meadows’s lawsuit continues.”

The column explains, “Because Speaker Pelosi failed to appoint the requisite number of members, as mandated by House Resolution 503, it was ‘not a duly constituted Select Committee,’ Meadows’s lawsuit argues. Without establishing a duly constituted Select Committee, as mandated in the Resolution, the nine members lack the authority to act under House Resolution 503, the argument continues, including by issuing subpoenas under Section 5(c)(6) of House Resolution 503.”

Cleveland explained, “The problem here is not the number of members participating but the number of congressmen appointed to the committee. Also, because House Resolution 503 requires the appointment of 13 members, Pelosi’s failure to appoint the requisite number of committee members means the select committee was never properly constituted. That failure, Meadows’ lawsuit argues, renders the Select Committee invalid and without the authority to issue subpoenas.”

She pointed out, “Courts readily require Congress and congressional committees to comply with their own rules,” but, “Here, the Democrats didn’t: They failed to appoint five Republicans to the select committee as required by House Resolution 503. Unless there is a properly constituted select committee, the purported committee members should lack the authority provided under the resolution.”

She noted further that, “Pelosi’s refusal to seat Jordan and Banks on the select committee proves significant for a second reason that segues back to Trump’s case and his claim of executive privilege: It proves that the supposed probe into the events of January 6, 2021 is an unserious political ploy…”

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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