Nancy Pelosi appoints Liz Cheney to Capitol riot committee

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has threatened to punish any Republican who accepted Pelosi's appointment to the investigative panel.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday announced she's appointing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as a member of the select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, making good on her promise to give one of her eight spots on the investigative panel to a Republican lawmaker.

Cheney has been one of the few GOP voices demanding an investigation into the attack on the Capitol, when a mob of Donald Trump supporters ransacked the building in an attempt to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

She's blamed the insurrection on former President Donald Trump himself, saying his lies about a stolen election helped rile up the mob that carried out the attack. And she's even said some of her fellow GOP lawmakers fear an investigation because their roles in the attack could be exposed.

"I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president's crusade to undermine our democracy," Cheney said in a defiant speech before Republicans voted to remove her as House Republican Conference chair, the third-ranking GOP position in the House.

It's unclear whether Cheney will face any repercussions for accepting Pelosi's appointment to the committee.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened other lawmakers on Wednesday, saying they could be stripped of their House committees if they accepted an appointment to the select committee from Pelosi.

Cheney said in a statement that she's "honored" to serve on the committee, a sign she was not deterred by McCarthy's threat.

Cheney has already been punished for her past comments targeting Trump, with McCarthy leading the effort to remove Cheney from her leadership role within the House GOP.

Cheney was one of just two GOP lawmakers to vote for the select committee to investigate the insurrection.

"Since January 6th, the courage of my party's leaders has faded. But the threat to our Republic has not," Cheney said in a statement announcing her support for the select committee. "On an almost daily basis, Donald Trump repeats the same statements that provoked violence before. His attacks on our Constitution are accelerating. Our responsibility is to confront these threats, not appease and deflect."

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) was the other Republican to vote in favor of creating the committee.

And Kinzinger had choice words for McCarthy for threatening Republicans who accepted a Pelosi appointment.

"When you've got people who say crazy stuff and you’re not gonna make that threat, but you make that threat to truth-tellers, you’ve lost any credibility," Kinzinger told Forbes on Thursday morning.

Aside from Cheney, Pelosi also announced seven Democrats she appointed to the committee.

They are:

  • Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chair of Homeland Security Committee;
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), chair of Committee on House Administration;
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chair of House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence;
  • Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA);
  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL);
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD); and
  • Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA).

Democrats resorted to creating a select committee to investigate the insurrection after Senate Republicans blocked the creation of a bipartisan, independent, and outside commission to look into the root cause of the attack and ways to prevent attacks in the future.

"It had been our hope to establish a bipartisan, independent National Commission, but there is no prospect for that Commission at this time," Pelosi said in a news release announcing the members of the select committee. "Yesterday, the House established the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol.  Today, I am proud to name Members who will patriotically honor our oath and our responsibility to the American people: to seek the truth."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.