Cheney: GOP leader seeking to block real Jan. 6 investigation

Republican Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyTrump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios House rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel GOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing MORE (Wyo.) on Wednesday blasted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyTrump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios GOP lawmakers request Cuba meeting with Biden House rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel MORE (R-Calif.), claiming that he is working to undermine an investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol “at every opportunity.”

“There must be an investigation that is nonpartisan, that is sober, that is serious, that gets to the facts, wherever they may lead," Cheney told reporters outside the Capitol. "And at every opportunity, the minority leader has attempted to prevent the American people from understanding what happened to block this investigation."

The latest jab at the minority leader from Cheney followed McCarthy's announcement earlier Wednesday that he was yanking all five of his picks to serve on the select committee probing the Jan. 6 riot after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel GOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing Five things to watch as Jan. 6 panel begins its work MORE (D-Calif.) rejected two of his top nominees: GOP Reps. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanBritney Spears's new attorney files motion to remove her dad as conservator House rejects GOP effort to seat McCarthy's picks for Jan. 6 panel GOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing MORE (Ohio) and Jim Banks (Ind.).

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Jordan and Banks, who are considered to be staunch allies of former President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE, both voted against certifying President BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race GOP lawmakers request Cuba meeting with Biden For families, sending money home to Cuba shouldn't be a political football MORE’s election victory in January.

"She objected to two, one of whom may well be a material witness to events that led to that day, that led to January 6," Cheney said. "The other who disqualified himself by his comments in particular over the last 24 hours demonstrating that he is not taking this seriously. He is not dealing with the facts of this investigation but rather viewed it as a political platform."

"This investigation must go forward. The idea that anybody would be playing politics with an attack on the United States Capitol is despicable and is disgraceful,” she added, saying she agreed with the Speaker’s decision to turn down the two nominations.

Pelosi on Wednesday said she was rejecting the nominations of Jordan and Banks for the “integrity” and “truth” of the investigation.

"With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee," Pelosi wrote in a statement.

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"The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision," she added.

McCarthy said Republicans "will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts" unless Pelosi "reverses course" and approves all five of his GOP nominees.

When asked if she still thinks the select committee could achieve a nonpartisan investigation without any additional Republicans on the panel, Cheney said she is “absolutely confident” it can before pivoting to another attack on McCarthy, Jordan and Banks.

“She has objected to two members and the rhetoric around this from the minority leader and from those two members has been disgraceful. This must be an investigation that is focused on facts, and the idea that any of this has become politicized is really unworthy of the office that we all hold and unworthy of our republic,” Cheney said.

The Wyoming congresswoman was ousted from her role as House GOP Conference chair in May after members of the caucus became frustrated with her anti-Trump stance and her repeated rejection of former President Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen.

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Days later she was replaced with New York Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikGOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto Former speed skater launches bid for Stefanik seat House GOP leaders say vaccine works but shouldn't be mandated MORE (R).

Cheney on Wednesday weighed in on the prospect of McCarthy becoming Speaker if Republicans take back the House in the 2022 midterms. 

“I think that any person who would be third in line to the presidency must demonstrate a commitment to the Constitution and a commitment to the rule of law, and Minority Leader McCarthy has not done that,” she told reporters.

Updated at 4:27 p.m.