Pelosi may include Republican on Jan. 6 select committee

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is “seriously considering” including a Republican among her appointments to the new select committee dedicated to investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, an aide said Monday.

Under the resolution to create the panel, Pelosi would appoint eight members, while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) would name five.

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on the resolution to create the panel, which is expected to pass largely along party lines and will be tasked with investigating “the facts, circumstances, and causes relating to the domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol.”

“January 6th was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. It is imperative that we establish the truth of that day and ensure such an attack cannot again happen,” Pelosi said in a statement on Monday shortly after the bill to create the committee was introduced.

If Pelosi were to include a member of the opposing party among her eight appointments, that would narrow the partisan margin to seven Democrats and six Republicans.

The advantage for Pelosi to include a Republican among her picks would be to ensure that someone like Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) or Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) would have a voice in the investigation and could lend some bipartisan credence to the panel.

Kinzinger and Cheney are among the handful of Republicans who have openly criticized their party leaders for promoting former President Trump’s false claims of election fraud and voted to impeach him for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection.

They’ve also criticized GOP colleagues who in recent weeks have tried to downplay the severity of the violent attack on the Capitol.

Cheney was ultimately booted from her third-ranking House GOP leadership post last month and replaced with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), a moderate who has embraced Trump.

A spokesperson for Kinzinger did not rule out the possibility of serving on the committee.

“The Congressman has said that he thinks a bipartisan approach is required to have a full accounting of what happened and who played a part in the insurrection at the Capitol Complex on January 6. He does not want an investigation to turn political; he just wants to get to the truth and for the American people to have full transparency. That being said, our party blocked that first opportunity and now we need answers. Whether Congressman Kinzinger serves on the Select Committee is up to Speaker Pelosi,” Kinzinger spokesperson Maura Gillespie said.

Cheney, meanwhile, told a CNN reporter that she hasn’t spoken to Pelosi about it, but that “it’s up to the Speaker.”

House Democrats are moving to create a select committee after legislation to establish an independent bipartisan commission was blocked by Senate Republicans.

Only six GOP senators and 35 House Republicans voted with Democrats to create a commission.

Unlike the proposed commission, the select committee does not have a deadline for producing a report. That means the investigation could last into next year, when both parties will be gearing up for the 2022 midterm elections.

By contrast, the commission proposal would have required a report by year’s end.

Multiple Democratic sources said that House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) had been making the case that his panel should take the lead on investigating Jan. 6, because he and the ranking Republican, Rep. John Katko (N.Y.), were able to strike a deal on the commission bill.

Katko, a centrist, was also one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after Jan. 6.

While Katko helped negotiate the legislation to create a bipartisan commission, he said Monday that he will oppose the select committee.

“It would be a turbo-charged partisan exercise, not an honest fact-finding body that the American people and Capitol Police deserve,” Katko said.

He also indicated a lack of interest in serving on the select committee.

“Recognizing the deeply disappointing departure this represents from a truly bipartisan solution, I have a hard time envisioning a scenario where I would participate, if asked,” Katko said.

Updated 7:55 p.m.

Tags Adam Kinzinger Bennie Thompson Capitol riot Donald Trump Elise Stefanik insurrection Investigation January 6 John Katko Kevin McCarthy Liz Cheney Nancy Pelosi Select Committee

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