By Erik Wasson and Billy House | Bloomberg
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named Republican Representative Liz Cheney — one of the 10 GOP House members who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his role in stoking the mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 — to a 13-member committee that will investigate the riot.
“The next step has always been to seek and find the truth,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday. “We will do so in the most patriotic and non-partisan way.”
Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson will chair the panel, Pelosi said. Pelosi’s move comes a day after the House passed a Democratic bill creating the select committee, which most Republicans dismissed as an exercise in partisan politics.
Cheney, who along Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, were the only Republicans to vote for the measure, said she was “honored” to serve on the panel at Pelosi’s behest.“What happened on Jan. 6th can never happen again,” Cheney said in a statement. “Those who are responsible for the attack need to be held accountable, and this select committee will fulfill that responsibility in a professional, expeditious, and non-partisan manner.”
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday that he hadn’t decided whether he would appoint any Republicans to the panel.
For Cheney, who in January voted with Democrats to impeach Trump, serving on the panel as a Pelosi appointee represents the latest break from a majority of her House GOP conference colleagues.
Cheney was ousted from the third-ranking House Republican leadership post after her vote in favor of impeachment and other comments she made criticizing Trump.
The appointment comes as Cheney’s future in the Republican Party remains uncertain, despite her political lineage as the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney. She already faces a number of potential primary opponents next November.
But in her statement Thursday, Cheney added, “Our oath to the Constitution, our commitment to the rule of law, and the preservation of the peaceful transfer of power must always be above partisan politics.”
In May, 35 House Republicans voted in favor of an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the causes of the insurrection by a mob of then-president Trump’s supporters as Congress was certifying the result of the 2020 presidential election. But Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell led a successful Republican effort to block the commission legislation, prompting Pelosi to push ahead with a House inquiry.
The bill provides no deadline for the committee to complete its work, which could extend into 2022, an election year in which control of the House and Senate will be decided.
Thompson said Thursday that the panel will get started as soon as possible and will move forward without additional Republicans if McCarthy doesn’t appoint anyone.
“If the need arises for public hearings we will do it,” he said.
As chairman, Thompson will have the power to issue subpoenas, requiring only consultation with the panel’s top Republican.
The committee also will scrutinize the security preparations and the response of the U.S. Capitol Police as well as federal, state and local law enforcement.
Another focus will be what the bill calls “influencing factors that fomented such an attack on American representative democracy while engaged in a constitutional process,” a reference to the disruption of certifying Electoral College votes.
Also named to the panel are Adam Schiff, Zoe Lofgren and Pete Aguilar of California, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, Elaine Luria of Virginia and Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
Both Thompson, and Lofgren, chair of the Committee on House Administration, have already been heading reviews by their respective panels of events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack.
Source: Orange County Register