Pelosi Has Chosen A 2nd Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, To Serve On Jan. 6 Panel
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of the rare vocal critics inside the Republican Party of former President Donald Trump, to serve on the special committee charged with investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol is set to hold its first hearing on Tuesday. Kinzinger will join Wyoming's Liz Cheney as one of two Republicans chosen by Pelosi to serve on the nine-person panel. Both Cheney and Kinzinger voted in favor of impeaching Trump following the attack on the Capitol, and were the only GOP members to support the committee's formation last month.
In a statement, Pelosi said that Kinzinger "brings great patriotism to the Committee's mission: to find the facts and protect our Democracy."
Kinzinger's appointment follows Pelosi's decision this past week to reject two of the five Republicans tapped for the panel by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. The two Republicans that Pelosi blocked — Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio — are among Trump's staunchest defenders in Congress and each voted against certifying the 2020 election results.
Pelosi said she was rejecting their nominations "with respect for the integrity of the investigation." McCarthy, in turn, said that each of his picks would boycott the panel's investigation.
The committee was formed largely along party lines last month after an earlier attempt to establish an independent commission was blocked by Republicans in the Senate. But Kinzinger says he believes an investigation into January 6th is imperative and goes beyond party lines.
"Let me be clear, I'm a Republican dedicated to conservative values, but I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution—and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer," Kinzinger said in a statement Sunday. "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."
McCarthy took to Twitter on Sunday and accused Pelosi of politicizing the investigation, saying that by appointing Cheney and Kinzinger, the Speaker was compromising the integrity of the committee.
"The Speaker has structured the select committee to satisfy her political objectives—which destroys its credibility," McCarthy said.
The Speaker has structured the select committee to satisfy her political objectives—which destroys its credibility.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 25, 2021
The US Capitol and all who protect it suffered a massive leadership failure. Republicans will focus on ensuring that never happens again. https://t.co/oELyp0TQOJ
The January 6 insurrection resulted in approximately $1.5 million in damage to the Capitol building, according to the Justice Department said. An average of about three people per day have been arrested in just over six months since the attacks.
In all, more than 500 people have been arrested across the country for crimes related to the insurrection. That includes over 165 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, of which more than 50 have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer.
The committee will hear on Tuesday from two members of the U.S. Capitol Police and another two from Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police force. All four officers served at the Capitol during the January 6 insurrection.
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.