Liz Cheney promoted to vice chair of Jan. 6 select committee

0
28
Liz Cheney promoted to vice chair of Jan. 6 select committee

Rep. Liz Cheney’s role on the Jan. 6 select committee has been elevated to vice chair of the panel, Chairman Bennie Thompson announced on Thursday. 

The promotion will allow the Wyoming Republican to lead proceedings in the event of Thompson’s absence, placing her in the No. 2 ranking member on the committee. 

Cheney has come under fire from her GOP colleagues for accepting Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s offer to join the panel tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot — after she was ousted from her position as GOP conference chair in May.

“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,” Thompson said in a statement. 

The announcement comes as House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) is pushing for a rules change to oust both Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who was also tapped by Democrats to serve on the panel, from the House GOP conference — alleging the GOP Trump critics are “spies for the Democrats that we currently invite to the meetings, despite our inability to trust them.” 

Liz Cheney
Cheney has come under fire from her GOP colleagues for accepting Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s offer to join the panel.
Andrew Harnik/Pool via Xinhua

Cheney indirectly dismissed Biggs’ allegations, saying that she is committed to conducting a fair investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attack.

“Every member of this committee is 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 that day,” she said in a statement.  

“I have accepted the position of Vice Chair of the committee to assure that we achieve that goal. We owe it to the American people to investigate everything that led up to, and transpired on, January 6th. We will not be deterred by threats or attempted obstruction and we will not rest until our task is complete.” 

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Brent Stirton/Getty Images

In a letter sent to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Thursday, Biggs requested a rules change to allow conservatives to bypass the two-thirds threshold within the conference to remove a member. 

“Any Member of the Conference who accepts a committee assignment or serves on a  committee without a recommendation to the Conference of the Republican Steering  Committee or the Republican leader, shall immediately cease to be a Member of the  Conference,” the rules change reads. 

Kinzinger echoed Cheney’s dismissal of the allegations that the investigation is a “partisan witch hunt,” questioning the motives for the repeated calls for their removal from the conference.

Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL
Rep. Adam Kinzinger is also on the Jan. 6 panel.
Ting Shen/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Members of the panel have not ruled out calling on GOP lawmakers who were in contact with the former president on the day of the riot to testify before the committee, including Biggs, McCarthy and Jordan.

The committee requested that 35 telecommunication companies and social media platforms preserve the information of those who may have played a role in the riot earlier this week, leading to further blowback from conservatives. 

“The American people deserve answers surrounding January 6th, and the non-partisan Select Committee to Investigate the Attack on the US Capitol is committed to uncovering the full truth and making those facts public,” Kinzinger spokeswoman Maura Gillespie said in a statement. 

Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest inside the US Capitol
Kinzinger echoed Cheney’s dismissal of the allegations that the investigation is a “partisan witch hunt.”
ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

“When a Member makes repeated calls to remove Representatives Kinzinger and Cheney from the Conference, it certainly calls into question their true motives. Especially when that Member pushes conspiracy theories to their constituents and outright lies for their own personal gain.”

Source link