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Politics and Government

Katko not worried about Trump ‘nonsense,’ calls Pelosi’s Jan 6. committee ‘a mess’

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Tom Magnarelli
/
WRVO Public Media
Rep. John Katko.

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building, is exactly what he didn’t want to have happen. Katko, a Republican, negotiated an agreement with Democrats, to create an independent, bipartisan commission, with 10 members split evenly between the two parties and modeled after the 9/11 Commission. It passed the House with 35 Republicans joining the Democrats, but was blocked in the Senate.

A select committee is being formed instead. It passed the House with just two Republicans joining the Democrats. Katko pointed out that Pelosi’s committee is imbalanced with eight members selected by the speaker, a Democrat, and five selected by the Republican House minority leader.

“It’s going to be a mess I think,” Katko said. “I think it’s going to linger on, it’s going to be much like the Benghazi committee, which was a partisan exercise on our side of the aisle. Nothing got done with Benghazi in the end. Nothing was accomplished except a lot of rhetoric. Same thing is going to happen here and that’s a shame.”

Katko said his commission was also nonpolitical and no members of Congress could have been a part of it, compared to Pelosi’s committee, which is comprised of House members. Katko has previously spoken passionately about forming a commission and making reforms to the U.S. Capitol Police, which he called completely dysfunctional. Pelosi said the select committee will investigate and report on the facts and causes of the attack on the Capitol building, which left five people dead, including three law enforcement officers.

On Trump ‘nonsense’

Former President Donald Trump told the Onondaga County Conservative Party last month, that he’ll help campaign for a challenger against Katko. The Conservative Party said it won’t endorse Katko again. Katko voted for Trump’s impeachment following the Jan. 6 attack. Trump has previously called for getting rid of the Republican members that voted for his impeachment, calling them grandstanders, and he recently rallied against one in Ohio. But Katko said he’s not worried.

“My election is a year and a half away,” Katko said. “I’m only six months into my new term. I’m not going to worry about that nonsense for a long time.”

As for that Ohio rally, Katko said he did raise concerns that GOP House member Jim Jordan, who is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, took the stage to support a challenger to a sitting Republican House member.

“We had a family discussion,” Katko said. “For sure, we should take care of our own and not campaign against each.”

Trump sent a letter to the Onondaga County Conservative Party chair last month, saying dropping Katko was a great move, and that Katko would never win again.