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Rep. Jim Banks criticized for signing letter as ranking member of Jan. 6 committee

Jim Banks, Jim Jordan
Posted at 1:33 PM, Oct 22, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Indiana Congressman Jim Banks was criticized on the House floor Thursday for claiming that he is a member of the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, even though he is not.

Banks, a Republican who represents District 3 in northeastern Indiana, is a fierce defender of former President Donald Trump who sent letters to federal agencies claiming to be a ranking member of the committee.

Banks was initially named to the committee by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarty (R-California). However, he was removed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) because Banks was among the Republicans who voted against certifying President Joe Biden's win in the 2020 election, even after the Jan. 6 riot.

On Thursday, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), who serves as vice chair of the committee, called out Banks on the House floor during debate on whether to refer Trump ally Steve Bannon for criminal contempt for evading a subpoena.

“He noted that the Speaker had determined that he wouldn’t be on the committee” Cheney said, according to CNN. “So I would like to introduce for the record a number of letters the gentleman of Indiana has been sending to federal agencies.”

CNN reported that Banks wrote to the Department of the Interior on Sept. 16 asking to be provided with any information the department turns over to the House committee. The letter includes Banks' signature and recognition that Pelosi blocked his appointment.