Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called Rep. Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and harsh critic of former President Donald J. Trump, to a newly created special committee to investigate the January 6 riots in the Capitol building their seats on a member of the Counterparty.
Ms. Cheney was ousted from her Republican leadership position for speaking out about the role that Mr. Trump and her own party played in spreading false claims of electoral fraud that fueled the uprising that unfolded when Congress met around formalize the election of President Biden.
Her appointment to the committee appeared to be an attempt by the Democrats to add a measure of bipartisanism to an investigation which the GOP leaders fought mightily for and which they have already dismissed as an unfair and one-sided investigation.
Ms. Cheney said in a statement that she was “more honored to serve.” “Our constitutional oath must take precedence over party politics,” she said.
California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, minority leader, was angry at the appointment, calling Ms. Cheney’s decision to accept the post “shocking” and suggesting that she be removed from her other committee duties as a punishment.
“I don’t know in history where someone gets their committee assignments from the speaker and then expects to get them from the conference,” he said.
It would be the second time in as many months that Mr McCarthy punished Ms. Cheney for insisting that Congress launch the January 6 attack and Mr Trump’s role in spreading the lie about a stolen election that was him inspired, should check. In May, McCarthy brought charges against Ms. Cheney from her position as No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives.
Ms. Pelosi also announced on Thursday that she has selected Rep Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, to chair the panel, which will include a number of her closest allies and centrists representing Conservative counties.
“We have to get to the bottom of what went wrong on January 6th,” Thompson said.
The measure that the panel created was passed on Wednesday against opposition from almost all Republicans. Only Ms. Cheney and one other Republican, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, supported him.
McCarthy has the right to consult with Ms Pelosi on five MPs from his party who would be on the committee, but he declined on Thursday to say whether he would name any members or who they would be.
But even without the appointment of Mr McCarthy, the committee would have enough members to continue its work.
In addition to Ms. Cheney and Mr. Thompson, the Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, Ms. Pelosi appointed:
Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California and Chair of the Administrative Committee;
Representative Adam Schiff of California, Chairman of the Intelligence Committee;
Representative Pete Aguilar from California
Representative Stephanie Murphy, Democrat of Florida and leader of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition;
Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland; and
Representative Elaine Luria, Democrat of Virginia
Mr McCarthy on Thursday denied privately telling Republicans that if they accepted an appointment from Ms. Pelosi to the panel, he would deprive them of their committee duties, saying he made “no threats” on the matter.
But then he seemed to confirm that Ms. Cheney shouldn’t expect to keep the Republican committee positions given to her since she had decided to accept Ms. Pelosi’s appointment, noting that the Wyoming Republican hadn’t spoken to him beforehand.
“Maybe she’s closer to her than we are,” said McCarthy of Ms. Cheney’s relationship with the top Democrat in the house.
The special committee was set up at the behest of Ms. Pelosi after the Republicans in the Senate blocked the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection. It will examine what is named in its organizational resolution “the facts, circumstances and causes relating to the domestic terrorist attack of January 6, 2021”.
The select committee is also tasked with reporting its findings, conclusions and recommendations for preventing future attacks.
“We cannot ignore what happened on January 6th; We cannot ignore the cause, ”wrote Kinzinger on Twitter and added the hashtag“ TheBigLie ”. He referred to a visual investigation published Wednesday by the New York Times that provided the most complete picture yet of how supporters of Mr Trump planned and carried out the deadly attack.