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Rep. Liz Cheney Will Serve On The Select Committee Investigating The Capitol Riot

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., says she is honored to serve on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., says she is honored to serve on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Updated July 1, 2021 at 1:44 PM ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday named members to a select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, including Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump.

Cheney was the only Republican named to the panel by Pelosi, who appointed Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., as its chair. Cheney, along with Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, were the only two Republicans to vote in favor of establishing the committee on Wednesday.

The House select committee was approved after Senate Republicans blocked a measure that would have set up a bipartisan commission to look into the events surrounding the attack. But even Republicans who supported the bipartisan commission voted against the select committee, denouncing it as partisan.

Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump on grounds he incited the violence, said ahead of Wednesday's vote that the bipartisan commission would have been preferred but that the select committee "is our only remaining option."

In a statement following her appointment to the committee, Cheney said she was honored to serve 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," she said.

The other members of the panel are all Democrats. In addition to Thompson, who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, the panel includes three veterans of the House impeachment investigations into Trump:

  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, chair of the House Administration Committee who served as an impeachment manager.
  • Rep. Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who led the House's first impeachment of Trump.
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who led the second impeachment.
  • Also named were Reps. Pete Aguilar of California, Stephanie Murphy of Florida and Elaine Luria of Virginia.

    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has the authority to recommend five other Republicans for the committee, who would need to be approved by Pelosi. But McCarthy reportedly warned GOP House members that they would be stripped of their committee assignments if they serve on the panel,according to CNN and others.

    In his weekly press conference Thursday, McCarthy said he found it "shocking" that Cheney would take such an assignment from Pelosi, rather than following the Republican conference's lead, and denied "threatening anybody with committee assignments."

    He also declined to say when or if he would appoint his own members to the panel.

    Pelosi said the committee "will investigate and report upon the facts and causes of the terrorist mob attack on the United States Capitol on January 6th, 2021. It will also be charged with reporting its findings, conclusions and recommendations for preventing future attacks."

    As chairman, Thompson will have the power to subpoena witnesses and documents.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.