Pelosi appoints Republican Adam Kinzinger to Capitol riot committee

Kinzinger is second Republican, after Liz Cheney, to confirm participation

John Bowden
Sunday 25 July 2021 18:34
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Lawmakers react after Pelosi nixes two GOP picks for Capitol Riot Committee
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US Rep Adam Kinzinger, a Republican congressman from Illinois known for his criticism of former President Donald Trump, has been appointed to the House panel being created to investigate the riot at the US Capitol on 6 January.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed on Sunday that she would ask the congressman to join the panel during an interview with ABC’s This Week following days of speculation on the issue. Her office had refused to comment to The Independent on Mr Kinzinger’s potential appointment as recently as Thursday. In a statement later on Sunday, Ms Pelosi confirmed the appointment of Mr Kinzinger.

Mr Kinzinger will be one of two Republicans on the bipartisan committee following House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s decision last week to withdraw all of his nominations after Ms Pelosi declined to name two of them, conservative Reps Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, citing Mr Jordan’s potential status as a material witness to the events of the riot and Mr Banks’s unserious comments about the attack on the Capitol to members of the news media.

Around noon on Sunday after Ms Pelosi’s comments were first made, Mr Kinzinger released a statement of his own, confirming his participation.

"Today, I was asked by the Speaker to serve on the House Select Committee to Investigate January 6th and I humbly accepted,” he said, according to Forbes.

In her own statement, Ms Pelosi said that Mr Kinzinger’s addition would bring “great patriotism” to the panel.

Democrats have faced sharp criticism from Mr McCarthy over their decision to block the two congressmen from participating, though Republicans declined to support legislation earlier this year that would have established a select commission to probe the attack and given Mr McCarthy full control over the selections for five spots on the panel.

The legislation to create such a commission was initially negotiated with the help of Republican members of Congress including Rep John Katko, but was staunchly opposed by Mr McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at the time, resulting in it gaining little GOP support on the House and Senate floors. Now, Republicans are hammering Ms Pelosi for exerting control over the Democrat-led House panel established by the speaker in response to the failure of that bill, and have complained that her decision to bar Mr Banks and Mr Jordan is “undemocratic”.

Ms Pelosi and her allies have responded by pointing to the statements of Mr Banks, who famously blamed the events of 6 January on the Biden administration despite the mob being made up of Trump supporters attempting to illegally block Mr Biden’s election victory, and the Biden administration not existing at the time of the riot.

Ms Cheney noted in her own press conference on the steps of the Capitol that Mr Jordan “may very well be a material witness to events that led to that day, to January 6”.

In an angry response to Ms Pelosi’s decision on Wednesday, Mr McCarthy vowed that the GOP would pursue its own investigation into the 6 Jan attack, though as the minority party in the House and Senate, Republicans do not have the power to establish official committees.

“Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts”, claimed the California congressman.

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