Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) accepted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) invitation to serve on the Democrats partisan January 6th “select committee,” daring Republican Minority Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to follow through on his threat to strip Republicans who agreed to assist Democrats in the matter of their committee assignments.
Pelosi named Cheney to the panel on Thursday, following through on a promise to make the panel “bipartisan,” despite the distinctly partisan nature of a Democrat-run select committee. Pelosi agreed to the committee following a Senate vote that ended an effort to create a Congressional select committee, similar to the one that investigated the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, designed to probe how supporters of President Donald Trump were able to breach the United States Capitol and make it within feet of elected officials.
“Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will lead the panel. It will investigate what went wrong around the Capitol when hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump broke into the building, hunted for lawmakers, and interrupted the congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory,” according to Yahoo News.
Cheney accepted her appointment in a statement Thursday morning, saying that she was “honored” to serve in the effort.
“Congress is obligated to conduct a full investigation of the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814,” Cheney said.
“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. 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,” Cheney’s statement read.
She went on to claim the investigation will be “non-partisan.”
“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 non-partisan manner,” she added. “Our oath to the Constitution, our commitment to the rule of law, and the preservation of the peaceful transfer of power must always be above partisan politics.”
Republicans have contended that both the select and Pelosi committees are “witch hunts” designed to accuse members of Congress of participating in or encouraging the Capitol riot. Democrats have suggested that they plan to draw a connection between members’ efforts to question certain states’ Electoral College results and the riot itself, on the theory that any pro-Trump efforts may have “incited” the mob.
Democrats are also likely to probe former President Donald Trump and his actions after addressing the rally that eventually spun off the riot.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy attempted to forestall Republican participation by threatening any member of the GOP who participated in Pelosi’s committee with dismissal from other committee assignments.
“House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday issued a blanket threat during a meeting with freshmen members of his caucus that he would strip any Republican member of their committee assignments if they accept an offer from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on the select committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection, according to two GOP sources with knowledge of the matter,” according to CNN.
Cheney was one of two Republicans — the other being Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger — to vote with Democrats to form the committee.
McCarthy is now faced with the question of whether he will be able to follow through with his threat.
“After Wednesday’s vote, McCarthy refused to say if he will cooperate and offer up members to serve on the committee, telling CNN, ‘It seems pretty political to me.'”