Pelosi names Cheney to panel investigating Jan. 6 riot

Politics

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has named multiple members of a new select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Among the members are House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson as the head of a new select committee and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney as a member.

Pelosi moved to form the committee to investigate the attack by Trump’s supporters after Senate Republicans blocked an independent, bipartisan probe that would have been evenly split between the two parties.

Standing with other members of the committee after a meeting together in Pelosi’s office, Cheney said she was “honored” to serve on the committee and that her duty is to the Constitution.

“And that will always be above politics,” Cheney said.

The House approved the committee Wednesday. The vote to form the panel was 222-190, with Republicans objecting that majority Democrats would be in charge.

The panel is led by Democrats, with Pelosi appointing a chairperson and eight of the committee’s 13 members. Pelosi appointed the following members to serve on the committee:

  • Rep. Thompson: Chair of Homeland Security Committee
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren: Chair of Committee on House Administration
  • Rep. Adam Schiff: Chair of House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Rep. Pete Aguilar, House Administration and Appropriations Committees
  • Rep. Cheney, Armed Services Committee
  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy, Armed Services Committee
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin, Oversight and Judiciary Committees
  • Rep. Elaine Luria, Navy veteran, Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees

The resolution gives her a possible say in the appointment of the other five members as well, directing that they will be named “after consultation” with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.

After Pelosi’s announcement, McCarthy demurred, saying at a news conference that “I’m not making any threats” about committee assignments. But he made clear he wasn’t happy with Cheney.

“I was shocked that she would accept something from Speaker Pelosi,” McCarthy said. “It would seem to me, since I didn’t hear from her, maybe she’s closer to her than us.”

Asked if she had been informed she would lose her committee assignments, Cheney said she had not.

GOP leaders have declined to say whether Republicans will even participate. In a memo to all House Republicans late Tuesday, No. 2 House Republican Scalise urged his members to vote against the resolution, saying the committee “is likely to pursue a partisan agenda.”

Cheney, a Wyoming congresswoman who was removed from GOP leadership this year because of her criticism of President Donald Trump, was one of only two Republicans who supported forming the committee. Cheney repeatedly rebuked the former president and was among the 10 Republican representatives who voted to impeach Trump over the deadly insurrection.

The gap between Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, and many of her Republican colleagues has grown only wider and more bitter in recent weeks. She withstood a February effort by conservatives to remove her from her No. 3 post, but was finally dumped in May in a voice vote of GOP lawmakers that underscored Trump’s hold on the party.

Though she’s had a lower profile since leaving her leadership post and her political future is unclear, Cheney has remained in Congress and continued speaking out against the former president.

McCarthy, meanwhile, is facing pressure to take the investigation seriously from the police officers who responded to the attack — dozens of whom suffered injuries that day. Several officers sat in the gallery and watched Wednesday’s vote, and some expressed surprise afterward that so many Republicans opposed it.

One of the officers, Michael Fanone of Washington’s Metropolitan Police, said he was angry at Republicans for voting against an investigation after he almost lost his life to protect them.

“I try not to take these things personally, but it’s very personal for me,” Fanone said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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