Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday announced her eight appointments to the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., who brokered a deal for a bipartisan, independent, 9/11-style commission that was later blocked by Senate Republicans, will be the select committee’s chairman.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who was kicked out of her leadership role as the No. 3 House Republican after she refused to back away from criticizing former President Donald Trump for his lies that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, will serve on the panel as one of the speaker’s picks. Under the terms of the resolution the House passed on Wednesday to establish the panel, the Democrats get to appoint eight members of the committee, and the Republicans get five.
Only two Republicans voted for the resolution to empanel the select committee Wednesday: Cheney and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
Cheney said in a statement that she was “honored” to be asked to sit on the panel.
“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 said. “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.”
Pelosi praised Cheney for agreeing to serve as an appointee of the Democratic speaker.
“The next step for us has always been to seek and to find the truth. We want to get the truth,” Pelosi said at a Thursday press briefing. “We want to do so in the most patriotic and nonpartisan way so the American people have confidence in the results.”
Democratic Reps. Adam B. Schiff of California, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Zoe Lofgren of California, Pete Aguilar of California, Elaine Luria of Virginia and Stephanie Murphy of Florida round out Pelosi’s eight choices for the select committee.
Schiff and Raskin, respectively, were the lead impeachment managers in the two Trump impeachment trials. Lofgren — the chairperson of the House Administration Committee, which has held several hearings investigating the shortcomings of the Capitol Police — has previously served as an impeachment manager.
“I’m honored to serve. I take it very seriously and it’s really a heavy burden that we have to make sure that our democracy is protected,” Lofgren said afterward. “I think we all feel that.”
Three members of the eight picks sit on the House Administration Committee: Lofgren, Raskin and Aguilar. Luria, a 20-year Navy veteran, and Murphy, a former Defense Department analyst, are on the 2022 midterm election target list of the House GOP's campaign arm.
The select committee is charged with investigating and reporting on the facts and causes relating to the pro-Trump insurrection. The panel has no set end date, and the Democratic majority can subpoena witnesses without the Republicans signing off.
“I can’t give it a timeline. We’ll let the facts help determine how long we will need, but I assure you that the product will be a product based on investigations, based on what those investigations bring forward,” Thompson said at the briefing. “There’s nothing sacrosanct in this review that won’t be brought out.”
At a subsequent briefing of his own, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy did not say whether he would name any members to the select committee. “When I have news on this, I’ll provide the news,” he said, amid speculation Republicans might boycott the panel.
McCarthy discouraged his conference from supporting the creation of the independent commission, which would have provided Republicans more say in the proceedings. Still, 35 members of the conference supported creating the commission and it passed the House before stalling in the Senate. He and his leadership team whipped their members to vote against establishing the select committee and ultimately only lost Cheney and Kinzinger on that vote.
The California Republican’s picks — if he makes any — are subject to Pelosi ultimately signing off on them.
McCarthy said he’s not threatening anybody on committee assignments, but noted, in reference to a question about Cheney that “I don’t know in history where someone would go get their committee assignments from the speaker and expect to have them from the conference as well.”
McCarthy said it was “shocking” and “unprecedented” for a Republican to accept committee assignments from Pelosi.
Pelosi’s appointments to the select committee met after the announcement in her office.
Luria said she expects some public hearings and that some investigative efforts could take place in a private setting.
“As soon as we are all back in Washington, I think we will be looking to have our first hearing, public hearing,” Luria said, referring to the imminent Independence Day recess.