Dear Commons Community,
Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday appointed Representative Adam Kinzinger to the special committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, adding a second Republican.
The move, which expands the committee’s bipartisan credentials, came after Ms. Pelosi rejected two Republicans who are among Mr. Trump’s most vociferous defenders in Congress from joining, saying their conduct suggested they could not be trusted to participate.
Mr. Kinzinger, a six-term congressman from Illinois who has drawn censure from his own party for disavowing Mr. Trump and the conspiracy theories the former president perpetuated, said in a statement that he had accepted the post. As reported by The New York Times.
“While this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer,” said Mr. Kinzinger, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump. “This moment requires a serious, cleareyed, nonpartisan 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.”
Ms. Pelosi, who has final say over the committee’s membership, has already given one of the eight seats normally reserved for the majority party to Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming. Ms. Cheney was ousted from House leadership in May for criticizing Mr. Trump and his actions before and during the riot.
About 140 police officers were injured on Jan. 6 as Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol, where Congress was meeting to formalize President Biden’s election, chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” stalking the halls for Ms. Pelosi and forcing lawmakers to evacuate their chambers.
Ms. Pelosi began seriously considering unilaterally appointing Mr. Kinzinger last week after she blocked Representatives Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio. Both had amplified Mr. Trump’s false claims of election fraud, joined their party’s efforts to challenge Mr. Biden’s victory on Jan. 6 and made statements that undermined the select committee’s work and mission.
Ms. Pelosi, however, said she welcomed the three other Republicans whom Representative Kevin McCarthy of California had nominated to join the panel.
“We have to ignore the antics of those who do not want to find the truth,” she said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” reiterating her rationale for barring Mr. Banks and Mr. Jordan.
Her decision to reject the pair drew an angry response from Mr. McCarthy, the minority leader, who announced that all his picks would boycott the panel. He has described Ms. Pelosi’s intervention as confirmation that the investigation was nothing more than a political exercise to hurt the G.O.P.
“Speaker Pelosi’s rejection of the Republican nominees to serve on the committee and self-appointment of members who share her preconceived narrative will not yield a serious investigation,”
Pelosi’s appointment of Kinzinger is a good move on her part. It would also benefit her and the committee’s credibility to make sure that Kinzinger and Liz Cheney have substantive and prominent roles to play during deliberations.