a close up of a person: Photograph: Elizabeth Frantz/ReutersThe House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, is readying the committee that will on Tuesday begin its investigation into the attack on the Capitol to press ahead with an aggressive inquiry into Donald Trump, as she seeks to exploit Republicans’ refusal to participate that could leave the former US president unguarded.

The move by the top Democrat in the House last week to block Jim Banks and Jim Jordan – vociferous allies of the former president – from serving on the House select committee, prompted the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, to boycott the inquiry, pulling his three other Republican picks from the panel.

But Pelosi won strong support from Democrats for her vetoes and told her lieutenants that she may have emerged with the upper hand ahead of the select committee’s first hearing. “We have the duty, to the constitution and the country, to find the truth of the 6 January insurrection and to ensure that such an assault on our Democracy cannot again happen,” Pelosi said of the investigation in a letter to Democrats.

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