Pelosi Picks Cheney for Jan. 6 Committee

by Msnbctv news staff

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday named Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and a harsh critic of former President Donald J. Trump, to a newly created special committee to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, taking the unusual step of designating one of her handpicked seats for a member of the opposing party.

The selection of Ms. Cheney, who was ousted from her Republican leadership post for speaking out about the role of Mr. Trump and her own party in spreading the election lies that led to the riot, was an attempt to bring a degree of bipartisanship to an investigation that G.O.P. leaders have fought mightily to block and have already dismissed as an unfair and one-sided inquiry.

Ms. Pelosi selected Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, as its chairman and chose a number of her closest allies as well as centrists who represent conservative-leaning districts to serve on panel.

“We have some of the best leaders in the Congress,” Ms. Pelosi said of the team, which includes the chairs of several powerful committees.

Under the measure that created the panel, adopted on Wednesday over the opposition of nearly every Republican, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, has the right to consult with Ms. Pelosi on five members from his party. He has yet to announce his choices.

Ms. Pelosi’s appointments to the committee are:

  • Mr. Thompson, chairman of Homeland Security Committee

  • Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California and chairwoman of House Administration

  • Representative Adam Schiff of California and chairman of the Intelligence Committee

  • Representative Pete Aguilar of California

  • Ms. Cheney

  • Representative Stephanie Murphy, Democrat of Florida

  • Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland

  • Representative Elaine Luria, Democrat of Virginia.

Mr. McCarthy told freshmen Republicans Wednesday night that he could strip Republicans of their committee assignments if they accepted an appointment to the panel from Ms. Pelosi, according to a source familiar with his comments, who confirmed an earlier report in Punchbowl News.

Ms. McCarthy has already pushed Ms. Cheney from her post as the No. 3 House Republican over her insistence that Mr. Trump be held accountable for his role in influencing the violence and mayhem of the deadly Jan. 6 attack, in which a mob tried to stop the certification of President Biden’s victory.

Only Ms. Cheney and one other Republican, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, supported the creation of the panel, established at Ms. Pelosi’s behest after Senate Republicans blocked the formation of a bipartisan independent commission to scrutinize the assault. It will investigate what its organizing resolution calls “the facts, circumstances and causes relating to the Jan. 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack.”

The Select Committee on the January 6th Insurrection is also charged with reporting its findings, conclusions and recommendations for preventing future attacks. The committee will be skewed toward Democrats, with eight of its 13 members appointed by the speaker and five to be named after consultation with the minority leader.

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