Pelosi Picks Cheney for Jan. 6 Committee

3 weeks ago 7

Politics|Pelosi names Cheney to serve on the select committee investigating the Capitol attack.

Rep Liz Cheney spoke during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday.
Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times
  • July 1, 2021, 11:12 a.m. ET

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 giving one of her seats to a maverick member of the opposing party.

Ms. Cheney was ousted from her Republican leadership post for speaking out about the role of Mr. Trump and her own party in spreading false information about the election that led to the riot. Her selection appeared to be 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.

“I’m honored to serve on the Jan. 6 select committee,” Ms. Cheney said in a statement. “Our oath to the Constitution must be above partisan politics.”

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

“We have to get to the bottom of finding out all the things that went wrong on Jan. 6,” Mr. Thompson said.

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 the Homeland Security Committee

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

  • Representative Adam Schiff of California, who is 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 on 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 person familiar with his comments, who confirmed an earlier report in Punchbowl News.

Mr. McCarthy has already ousted 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, which was 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 Jan. 6 attack is also charged with reporting its findings, conclusions and recommendations for preventing future attacks.

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