Democrats advance select committee after Republicans block commission to investigate riot by Trump supporters.
Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi has named a Republican legislator critical of former President Donald Trump to a panel set to investigate the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol building in January.
Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, on Sunday named Republican Adam Kinzinger to a special committee probing the January 6 riot in Washington, DC by a group of pro-Trump protesters.
Kinzinger “brings great patriotism to the committee’s mission: to find the facts and protect our democracy”, Pelosi said in a statement.
The committee’s makeup has been marked by partisan bickering, as a leading Republican last week said the party would boycott the process after Pelosi rejected two GOP Congressmen that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had wanted to join the panel.
The congressmen, Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, had voted against certifying Joe Biden’s presidential election victory amid a barrage of false claims from Trump and his supporters that the November 2020 vote had been marred by widespread fraud.
The January 6 riot, which saw a mob of Trump supporters storm the Capitol building as lawmakers were meeting to confirm Biden’s election win, was spurred by those false claims, Democrats and US political observers have argued.
Trump later in January was impeached by the House for “incitement of insurrection”.
“The two that I would not appoint are people who would jeopardise the integrity of the investigation and there’s no way I would tolerate their antics as we seek the truth,” Pelosi said in an interview with ABC’s This Week programme on Sunday.
Kinzinger said he “humbly accepted” the offer to join the House committee and pledged to “get to the truth” about what happened.
“This moment requires a serious, clear-eyed, non-partisan approach. We are duty-bound to conduct a full investigation on the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814 and to make sure it can never happen again,” Kinzinger said in a statement shared on Twitter on Sunday.
“I will work diligently to ensure we get to the truth and hold those responsible for the attack fully accountable.”
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) July 25, 2021
Kinzinger will join Republican Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming as the two committee’s Republicans, both selected by the leader of the opposition party.
Kinzinger and Cheney were among the 10 House Republicans to vote for Trump’s second impeachment just days after the insurrection. They were the only two Republicans who voted last month to form the special committee.
During his presidency, Trump was twice impeached by the House but later acquitted by the Senate both times.
The first hearing of the House committee, which has the power to subpoena witnesses and documents, is scheduled for Tuesday.