Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's move this week to remove two Republicans from the Jan 6 select committee, while not technically violating House rules, was a violation of "important norms," former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., tells Newsmax.
But Frank, appearing Thursday on "Spicer & Co.," told hosts Sean Spicer and Lyndsay Keith that GOP then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was guilty of the same offense when he refused in 2016 to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court during President Barack Obama's last year in office.
Spicer told Frank the move by Pelosi could set a dangerous precedent in which Republicans could retaliate should they regain control of the House. Many speculate that just might happen in 2022.
"Unfortunately, I don't worry about the precedent," Frank said, because there are examples of it being shed on both sides.
"We had this outrageous precedent, in my judgment, one of the worst we've seen, of Mitch McConnell, refusing to confirm a Supreme Court justice with about a year left in the [Obama] presidency."
When Spicer pointed out that McConnell had "played by the rules" in the Garland case, Frank agreed, but said that Pelosi did as well when she rejected Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Jim Banks, R-Ind. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., had appointed them and three others to serve on the select committee.
McCarthy pulled the other three after Pelosi rejected Jordan and Banks.
Pelosi previously appointed Republican Liz Cheney of Wyoming and has said she may appoint GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois to the panel. Both voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump earlier this year, saying his actions and words led to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by his supporters.
Frank said that Jordan's behavior in hearings has been "disruptive" and he supports Pelosi in removing him.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., "was very publicly rebuking him because he just was violating the rules and talking when he shouldn't have been talking," Frank said.
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