House Democrats have tapped former GOP congressman and outspoken Trump critic Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanHouse Democrats select Riggleman as Jan. 6 committee adviser Virginia Democrats seek to tie Youngkin to Trump's election claims The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Jan. 6 probe, infrastructure to dominate week MORE (Va.) to serve as an adviser on the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the panel announced Friday.
Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Manchin heatedly dismisses rumors of leaving Democratic Party Bannon eyed as key link between White House, Jan. 6 riot Cheney becomes GOP's Trump foil MORE (D-Miss.) said in a press release that Riggleman was selected to serve on the panel’s senior staff, along with Homeland Security Department Principal Deputy General Counsel Joseph Maher.
Thompson called the two men “public servants” who “understand how close our democracy was to catastrophe on January 6th.”
“I commend their commitment to help ensure we never see a repeat of that day,” he said.
Thompson went on to say that “in addition to being a former House colleague, Mr. Riggleman brings a deep background in national security and intelligence matters,” having served as an intelligence officer for the U.S. Air Force prior to joining Congress in 2019.
Riggleman sought to run for reelection in 2020, but was defeated in the GOP primary, despite receiving an endorsement from then-President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE.
The congressman left office on Jan. 3, just days before hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in opposition to the certification of President BidenJoe BidenBiden: Democrats' spending plan is 'a bigger darn deal' than Obamacare Biden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Biden: Comment that DOJ should prosecute those who defy subpoenas 'not appropriate' MORE's election win.
The former congressman has since become a vocal critic of Trump and his allies, particularly their continued false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election and efforts by some conservatives to downplay the events of Jan. 6.
Thompson on Friday thanked Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn Cheney'You're a joke': Greene clashes with Cheney, Raskin on House floor The 9 Republicans who voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress Cheney reveals GOP's Banks claimed he was Jan. 6 panel's ranking member MORE (R-Wyo.), one of two Republican House members on the Jan. 6 select committee, for recommending Maher to serve on the team, adding, “these two individuals will provide invaluable insight and expertise as we piece together what happened on January 6th and in the time leading up to it.”
Cheney had also publicly signaled her support for the committee to hire Riggleman, saying last month, “I think that Denver has a really interesting and important skill set that would be a tremendous benefit.”
“Denver is somebody who's got years of experience, especially in all the areas connected to cyber issues," she added at the time, according to Politico. "And I think he’d just be a tremendous addition to the work of the committee in terms of understanding, recognizing the extent to which social media platforms were used, the communications that went on in the lead up to the 6th.”
Bloomberg News first reported Riggleman’s appointment to the select committee’s staff.
Riggleman has been active on Twitter during the probe into Jan. 6, including last week during the committee’s first hearing, when they brought in four officers who responded to the rioting to offer gripping and emotional testimony detailing their experiences that day.
The former congressman tweeted at the time, “Every person should be watching the committee testimony happening right now.”
“These Officers are the best of America. The trauma of our heroes should not be forgotten,” he added.
Every person should be watching the committee testimony happening right now. These Officers are the best of America. The trauma of our heroes should not be forgotten— Denver Riggleman (@RepRiggleman) July 27, 2021
Gonell, Fanone, Hodges & Dunn
We must use big data, professional analysis & ground intelligence#SelectCommittee
Riggleman also called for the select committee to “use big data, professional analysis & ground intelligence,” to investigate the mob attack.
Multiple people died within the chaos, and five officers who responded to the rioting have since died, including four by suicide.