Leading GOP Trump critic Liz Cheney appointed vice-chair of Capitol riot committee

Move comes after Freedom Caucus chair called for her to be dismissed from GOP conference

John Bowden
Thursday 02 September 2021 22:59
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Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney is the newest co-chair of the House commission investigating the 6 January siege on the US Capitol, a move that will heighten her presence in the investigation as other members of her own party are calling for her to suffer consequences for even participating.

The move was announced on Thursday by Rep Bennie Thompson, the committee’s Democratic chairman, who said: “Representative Cheney has demonstrated again and again her commitment to getting answers about January 6th, ensuring accountability, and doing whatever it takes to protect democracy for the American people.

“Her leadership and insights have shaped the early work of the Select Committee and this appointment underscores the bipartisan nature of this effort,” he continued.

Rep Cheney added in her own remarks to The Washington Post that she and every other member of the commission were “dedicated to conducting a non-partisan, professional, and thorough investigation of all the relevant facts regarding January 6th and the threat to our Constitution we faced” on 6 January, when hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the building and surrounding grounds, battling with law enforcement and leading to several deaths including one among the Capitol Police force.

“I have accepted the position of Vice Chair of the committee to assure that we achieve that goal,” she said.

The appointment comes just hours after Rep Andy Biggs, chairman of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, called on House GOP leader Rep Kevin McCarthy to expel Ms Cheney and Rep Adam Kinzinger from the House Republican conference and accused the pair of spying for the Democrats.

“Congresswoman Cheney and Congressman Kinzinger are two spies for the Democrats that we currently invite to the meetings, despite our inability to trust them,” wrote Mr Biggs in the letter obtained by several news outlets.

"This proposal is not because of a policy or political difference, but because some members have chosen to work with the Democrats to investigate and potentially remove Republican Members from the House," he continued. "Republican Conference meetings are an opportunity for elected House Republicans to come together and strategize the most effective path to push back on the radical policies of Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats."

Many GOP lawmakers in Washington have sought to downplay the events of the Capitol siege in the weeks and months since 6 January, even amid withering criticism from members of Capitol Police, who are sworn to protect the members and see them on a day-to-day basis.

Several members of the force have died by suicide in the months following the attack, while the former president and many members of the GOP have continued to spread baseless claims about fraud in the 2020 election.

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