Cheney to Join Jan. 6 Inquiry, Drawing Threats of G.O.P. Retribution

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s determination to connection a slot to the Wyoming Republican was an effort to bring a veneer of bipartisanship to an probe the G.O.P. has denounced arsenic one-sided.

Representative Liz Cheney, joined by different   members of the Jan. 6 prime   committee, said connected  Thursday that she was “honored” to service  connected  the panel.
Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

July 1, 2021

Speaker Nancy Pelosi connected Thursday named Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming to a recently created peculiar committee to analyse the Jan. 6 riot astatine the Capitol, choosing a Republican who has blamed erstwhile President Donald J. Trump for fomenting the battle to assistance behaviour an enquiry that the remainder of her enactment has fought to artifact astatine each turn.

The assignment drew an aggravated effect from the apical House Republican, who suggested that Ms. Cheney — already ousted from enactment leadership for her insistence connected calling retired Mr. Trump’s predetermination lies — could look caller retribution for agreeing to assistance Democrats analyse the deadliest onslaught connected Congress successful centuries.

The absorption was the latest bid by Republican leaders to crook nationalist attraction distant from the battle connected the Capitol and punish those who importune connected scrutinizing the riot. It came arsenic a fuller representation is emerging of however convulsive extremists, taking their cues from Mr. Trump, infiltrated the spot of American ideology conscionable arsenic Congress was gathering to validate President Biden’s election.

A New York Times ocular investigation published this week revealed successful vivid item however members of extremist groups incited others to riot and battle constabulary officers, and underscored however the erstwhile president’s words resonated with the mob successful existent clip arsenic it staged the attack.

Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and the number leader, responded angrily to Ms. Cheney’s determination to judge the post, calling it “shocking” and implying that she could suffer her spot connected the Armed Services Committee arsenic payback.

“I don’t cognize successful past wherever idiosyncratic would get their committee assignments from the talker and past expect to get them from the league arsenic well,” Mr. McCarthy said.

Should helium travel done with the threat, it would beryllium a striking determination for Mr. McCarthy, who has declined to penalize Republicans who person made anti-Semitic comments, called for the imprisoning of their Democratic colleagues oregon dispersed mendacious conspiracy theories astir the origins of the battle connected the Capitol.

It would besides beryllium the 2nd clip successful 2 months that Mr. McCarthy punished Ms. Cheney for insisting that Congress should scrutinize the onslaught and Mr. Trump’s relation successful spreading the falsehoods astir voting fraud that inspired it. In May, Mr. McCarthy led the complaint to oust Ms. Cheney from her station arsenic the No. 3 House Republican, saying her criticisms of Mr. Trump and efforts to dependable the alarm astir the riot were undermining enactment unity and hurting its chances of reclaiming the House successful the 2022 elections.

“My oath, my work is to the Constitution, and that volition ever beryllium supra politics,” Ms. Cheney told reporters successful the Capitol connected Thursday, appearing alongside the 7 Democrats Ms. Pelosi had selected for the 13-member panel.

According to its rules, Mr. McCarthy has the close to connection 5 recommendations for Republican members, but helium declined connected Thursday to accidental whether helium would bash so.

The prime committee was established astatine Ms. Pelosi’s behest aft Senate Republicans blocked the enactment of a bipartisan commission to scrutinize the riot. It volition analyse what its organizing resolution calls “the facts, circumstances and causes relating to the Jan. 6, 2021, home violent attack.” The committee is besides charged with reporting its findings, conclusions and recommendations for preventing specified attacks successful the future.

The panel’s instauration comes arsenic immoderate far-right House Republicans person stepped up their efforts to contradict oregon distort the riot, including by spreading misinformation astir it. They person sought to represent it arsenic a mostly peaceful lawsuit and voted against honoring constabulary officers who responded. One House Republican accused a U.S. Capitol Police serviceman of “lying successful wait” to transportation retired an “execution” of a rioter. Another compared the events of that day to a “normal tourer visit” to the Capitol. Still others person amplified the baseless mentation that the F.B.I. was secretly down the siege.


Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the number  leader, called Ms. Cheney’s determination  to judge  the station  “shocking.”
Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

On Thursday, Mr. Trump amplified those narratives, releasing a one-sentence connection questioning the sidesplitting of Ashli Babbitt. Ms. Babbitt was changeable arsenic she tried to interruption into an country disconnected the House level wherever respective lawmakers were taking cover, and her decease has go a rallying outcry of the acold right.

In taking the antithetic measurement of giving 1 of her seats connected the sheet to a subordinate of the opposing party, Ms. Pelosi was making a tactical determination that appeared intended to thrust a wedge among Republicans portion putting a veneer of bipartisanship connected an probe that astir of them person already dismissed arsenic politically motivated and one-sided.

The enactment besides each but ensures that Ms. Cheney, a salient blimpish from a storied Republican family, remains a high-profile dependable countering her party’s attempts to downplay and contradict the horrors of the attack, risking her governmental vocation to bash so.

For weeks, Republican leaders person tried to soundlessness and ostracize Ms. Cheney, but she has remained undeterred. On Thursday, said she was “honored” to service connected the committee.

“Those who are liable for the onslaught request to beryllium held accountable, and this prime committee volition fulfill that work successful a professional, expeditious and nonpartisan manner,” she said.

Ms. Pelosi called Ms. Cheney personally connected Thursday greeting to connection her the post, and Ms. Cheney accepted connected the spot, according to aides to some lawmakers. The 2 had not spoken antecedently astir the prospect, the aides said, though Ms. Pelosi had fto it beryllium known this week that she was weighing naming a Republican to her broadside of the panel.

Ms. Cheney’s enactment was announced during Ms. Pelosi’s Thursday greeting quality conference, erstwhile she laid retired a database of almighty lawmakers who would transportation retired the inquiry. The sheet is to beryllium led by Representative Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat who is the president of the Homeland Security Committee. It includes 2 different committee leaders, Representatives Adam B. Schiff of the Intelligence Committee and Zoe Lofgren of the Administration Committee, some of California.


Credit...Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

Also included are Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and the pb authoritative successful the impeachment lawsuit against Mr. Trump for “incitement of insurrection,” and Representative Pete Aguilar of California, a subordinate of the enactment leadership. Ms. Pelosi besides chose 2 mean Democrats, Representative Elaine Luria of Virginia and Representative Stephanie Murphy of Florida, the person of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition.

Mr. Thompson pledged to present “a definitive accounting of the onslaught — an undertaking truthful captious to guarding against aboriginal attacks.”

“We person to get to the bottommost of uncovering retired each the things that went incorrect connected Jan. 6,” helium said.

He besides said the sheet would clasp a proceeding successful which “Capitol Police officers themselves could beryllium capable to attest astir their experiences” during the attack.

Several legislature investigations into the battle are already underway, but nary person a mandate to look comprehensively astatine the lawsuit akin to however fact-finding commissions scrutinized the Sept. 11, 2001, violent attacks; the bombing of Pearl Harbor successful 1941; and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy successful 1963.

The F.B.I. has arrested astir 500 radical progressive successful the Capitol breach and is pursuing perchance hundreds more. Two Senate panels carrying retired a associated probe into the riot produced a report outlining large-scale failures that contributed to the assault. And respective inspectors wide person begun their ain inquiries, finding lapses and miscalculations astir the astir convulsive onslaught connected the Capitol since the War of 1812.

But those inquiries, which person mostly focused connected information failures, are nary substitute for a prime committee that tin absorption solely connected investigating the onslaught and its basal causes, Ms. Lofgren said.

“It’s not a substitute for uncovering retired what happened here,” Ms. Lofgren said. “What caused a mob of Americans to deliberation they were someway supporting the Constitution erstwhile they tried to disrupt the law process of counting the Electoral College votes? Who paid for it? How was it organized? We request to find that retired to support the state safe.”

The measurement that created the sheet was adopted connected Wednesday implicit the absorption of astir each Republican. Only Ms. Cheney and 1 different Republican, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, supported it.

“We cannot disregard what happened connected January 6th; we cannot disregard what caused it,” Mr. Kinzinger wrote Thursday connected Twitter, appending the hashtag “TheBigLie.” He pointed to the ocular probe The Times published connected Wednesday, which provided the astir implicit representation to day of however supporters of Mr. Trump planned and carried retired the deadly assault.

Mr. McCarthy faces a situation successful deciding whom to urge for the panel. Republicans, galore of whom initially called for a afloat investigation, person agelong since mislaid their appetite for scrutinizing the assault, pursuing Mr. Trump’s lead.

Even without Mr. McCarthy’s appointments, however, the committee would person capable members to proceed with its work.

Mr. McCarthy initially denied connected Thursday that helium would penalize immoderate Republican for accepting an assignment to the sheet from Ms. Pelosi, saying helium was “not making immoderate threats” connected the matter.

But helium past appeared to bash conscionable that, saying that nary Republican should expect to support committee posts granted by the G.O.P. aft accepting an assignment from the different party. He noted with displeasure that Ms. Cheney had not talked to him earlier taking Ms. Pelosi’s offer.

“Maybe she’s person to her than us,” Mr. McCarthy said.

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