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Republican Liz Cheney joins House committee to investigate Jan. 6 insurrection

The Republican congresswoman, and sole member of the GOP currently on the committee, said she was honored to join the House’s investigation into the Jan. 6 attack

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters in Washington.
In this May 12, 2021, file photo, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters in Washington. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has named House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson as the head of a new select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. She also picked Cheney as a member.
J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has named Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection, as one of eight current members of the House who will lead the chamber’s investigation into the deadly attack.

Cheney, of Wyoming and daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, will join seven Democrats on the “Select Committee to Investigate January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol.” The group, led by House Homeland Security Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, will “examine and report upon the facts and causes relating to the terrorist mob attack on the United States Capitol Complex,” Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Thursday.

Reps. Thompson and Cheney will be joined by the following committee members, according to the House Speaker’s press release:

  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., committee co-chairwoman and Committee on House Administration chairwoman.
  • Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., committee co-chairman and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman.
  • Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif.
  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who also served as the House’s impeachment manager in Trump’s second impeachment in February.
  • Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Md.

Why is the House investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection?

Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference on Thursday that it has been her hope that Congress could have passed a bipartisan legislation creating the commission, but Republican senators stonewalled that effort in a filibuster ahead of the Memorial Day weekend in May.

As a result, the House voted 222-190 on Wednesday to create its own select committee to further investigate the details that led to the Jan. 6 attempted insurrection. Cheney, along with Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, were the only two members of the GOP to vote with Democrats on creating the investigative body.

  • “I’m honored to have been named to serve on the January 6th select committee. Congress is obligated to conduct a full investigation of the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814,” Cheney said in a statement Thursday. “That day saw the most sacred space in our Republic overrun by an angry and violent mob attempting to stop the counting of electoral votes and threatening the peaceful transfer of power.
  • “What happened on January 6th can never happen again. 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 nonpartisan manner,” the Republican congresswoman added.
  • “We need a full accounting of what happened on January 6, 2021 — we need answers on who was involved in the insurrection and who played a role in orchestrating it. We need transparency and truth,” Kinzinger, who is also a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, said after voting for the committee Wednesday. “And as I said before, we cannot let fear stop us from doing what is right.”

House GOP leader ‘shocked’ by Cheney

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he was “shocked” by Cheney’s decision to join the select committee and that may remove her from other committee assignments as punishment for breaking from the GOP, The Hill reported.

  • “I don’t know in history where someone would go get their committee assignments from the Speaker and expect to have them from the conference as well,” said McCarthy, according to The Hill.
  • In May, House Republicans voted to oust Cheney from her third-ranking leadership role as the GOP’s House conference chair, a retaliation for her continue outspokenness against Trump, the Deseret News reported.

According to Wednesday’s House Resolution 503, which empowered the Jan. 6 select committee, McCarthy, as the minority leader, has the ability to nominate five members to the committee. The resolution says McCarthy would need to consult with Pelosi on those nominees, and then the House Speaker would formally appoint the minority leader’s nominations.