Cheney to get prime speaking slot at first Jan. 6 committee hearing

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyHouse passes sweeping defense policy bill Trump rips Bush for backing Cheney Bush to hold fundraiser for Cheney MORE (R-Wyo.) will give an opening statement at Tuesday's first hearing by the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, underscoring how Democrats want to present the proceedings as bipartisan despite the boycott by House GOP leaders.

Cheney's opening statement will follow one from the select committee's chairman, Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonJan. 6 panel subpoenas four ex-Trump aides Bannon, Meadows Democratic anger grows over treatment of Haitian migrants Black Caucus meets with White House over treatment of Haitian migrants MORE (D-Miss.), according to a source familiar with the plan.

The select committee's first hearing on Tuesday will feature testimony from four police officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6: Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell of the Capitol Police, as well as Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of the Capitol Police.

ADVERTISEMENT

Video in the days after the Jan. 6 attack showed the mob dragging Fanone down a set of stairs on the Capitol's West Front, while Hodges was seen in another screaming in pain as the rioters ripped off his mask and sprayed chemical irritants in his face as he was wedged in a doorway.

Cheney and Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerFifth House Republican comes out in support of bipartisan infrastructure bill Democratic leaders racing toward Monday infrastructure vote House GOP to whip against bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE (Ill.) will be the only Republicans serving on the panel after GOP leaders opted to boycott participation altogether due to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Democrats steamroll toward showdown on House floor Panic begins to creep into Democratic talks on Biden agenda MORE (D-Calif.) refusing to seat two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyFifth House Republican comes out in support of bipartisan infrastructure bill Watch live: McCarthy holds briefing with reporters The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks MORE's (R-Calif.) picks.

Pelosi rejected McCarthy's selection of Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanAllies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid Republican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee Watchdog group seeks ethics probe over McCarthy's Jan. 6 comments MORE (R-Ohio), both of whom are staunch Trump allies and have promoted former President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE's false claims of election fraud.

Banks vowed in a statement last week to investigate the role of the Biden administration in Jan. 6 while making no mention of Trump — even though Biden was not yet in office on that day. Banks also recently led a delegation of House Republicans to the southern border with Trump.

Cheney and Kinzinger were the only Republicans to vote in favor of creating the select committee last month.

ADVERTISEMENT

Despite the lack of widespread support from Republicans, Democrats want to project a united front with the two GOP defectors to cast their effort as bipartisan.

Pelosi announced Cheney as one of her original eight appointees, and opted to add Kinzinger to the panel to fill one of the five vacant slots left by the GOP boycott.

“I’m a Republican dedicated to conservative values, but I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution — and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer,” Kinzinger said in a statement on Sunday.

Cheney said last week that Tuesday's hearing is "going to be an opportunity for the country to hear from some of the very brave people who defended the Capitol on that day, to hear their experiences directly, to put some facts on the table" by having people hear directly from police officers who were on duty at the Capitol on Jan. 6.