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House Republicans sharpen plan of attack on Democrats' January 6 probe

July 21, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 27.7%. 2 min read.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing to discuss police brutality and racial profiling on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Republicans on the House's new investigative committee are gearing up for a protracted clash with Democrats over former President Donald Trump's role in the January 6 attack, with the GOP looking to turn the focus into the Capitol's lack of preparedness, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's actions and political violence more broadly in the US.

(CNN)Republicans on the House's new investigative committee are gearing up for a protracted clash with Democrats over former President Donald Trump's role in the January 6 attack, with the GOP looking to turn the focus into the Capitol's lack of preparedness, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's actions and political violence more broadly in the US.

"There's one fundamental question that I hope Democrats will actually answer and address and that is why wasn't there a proper security presence that day?" said Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio who helped the lead the effort in Congress to try to overturn the electoral results.

Democrats say that the GOP is already trying to muddy the waters to focus on Pelosi, contending she's not directly in charge of the Capitol's security posture, while taking attention away from Trump's months-long effort to overturn the election, lie about the results and rile up his supporters at the January 6 rally before the deadly riot.

While Pelosi has the power to veto the picks, and has not said what she will do, the newly named Republicans are expected to hold a strategy session either this weekend or on Monday in order to gear up for the committee's first hearing next week with police officers who defended the Capitol on January 6, according to multiple GOP sources.

And the GOP may lean heavily on Rep. Troy Nehls, a Republican from Texas and one of McCarthy's committee picks who is a former sheriff and military officer, as they start to craft their line of questioning and try to avoid being seen as bashing or dismissive of law enforcement.

"We're going to have to have very serious parliamentary order within the committee," said Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the Democratic lead impeachment manager in Trump's second impeachment and a member of the panel.

"They have a diverse caucus," said Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a Democrat selected by Pelosi to serve on the panel.

"Make no mistake," said Rep. Jim Banks, the Indiana Republican whom the GOP leader selected as the ranking member on the select committee.

Sources familiar with the prep tell CNN that Republicans are ready to play defense in upcoming weeks, but are also looking for opportunities to chip away at what they view as the Democratic narrative that Trump actively encouraged his followers to challenge the election results violently on January 6 and that he was solely responsible.

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