- House GOP leaders are preparing an alternative report on who to blame for the attack on the Capitol.
- Their plan comes as the January 6 committee prepares to hold public hearings on its investigation.
- Rep. Jim Banks, who is leading the GOP effort, says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is his prime target.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other top GOP members are sewing up an alternative analysis of who was responsible for the January 6, 2021, violent attack on Congress, aides for the California Republican told Insider.
The Republican plan in the works includes an attempt to pin the attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Capitol Police, the FBI, and the National Guard, and the then-House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving.
With no control over what the January 6 select committee presents to the American public Thursday night during its debut prime-time hearing, House Republican leaders have scrambled to whip up an effective counterattack with little information to go by. That's in part because they refused to take part in the year-long committee investigation. McCarthy was subpoenaed by the select committee but has, so far, refused to cooperate with its investigation.
January 6 committee staff told reporters Wednesday that the focus of the upcoming hearings is placing former President Donald Trump at the heart of a coordinated effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
McCarthy and other Republican leaders hope their version of the day's events will present the public with a different vantage point they think viewers won't see in the series of public hearings the committee has planned. But their report won't come for a while.
"We'll issue our report later in the year and it will have both facts as to why the Capitol was so unprepared and it will include recommendations the House should take up to prevent this from happening in the future," McCarthy spokesman Mark Bednar told Insider in an email.
He added that Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee, is spearheading that project.
On Wednesday, Banks told reporters that some of the issues he would have pursued if he'd been a member of the committee would have included digging into the role Pelosi, the House sergeant at arms at the time, Capitol Police, the FBI, and the National Guard could have played in the attacks.
There's been no evidence that Pelosi, the sergeant at arms, the FBI, or the National Guard coordinated or had a role in planning or coordinating the attack. But it's a line Republicans have sought to pursue as they try to deflect blame from Trump and his supporters.
"Nancy Pelosi blocked us from the committee because she knows that those questions leave a trail of breadcrumbs right back to the speaker's office," Banks told reporters at the US Capitol.
Banks' staff did not respond to a request for comment about any parallel investigations or prospective counter proposals.
McCarthy floated the idea of issuing a GOP-only response to the select committee's findings last summer after Pelosi blocked him from appointing Banks and Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who has also been subpoenaed by the committee, to the panel.
"Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts," McCarthy declared in July 2021.
Casting blame at anyone but the embattled former president fits into the current MAGA effort to ensure that "President Trump is defended against yet another Democrat show trial."