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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Pelosi says “deadly serious” January 6 investigation going to go without GOP

WASHINGTON — Unfazed by Republican threats of a boycott, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that a congressional committee investigating the January 6 Capitol uprising will do its “deadly serious” work whether Republicans participate or not.

Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy called the committee a “false process” and suggested that GOP lawmakers who participate could face consequences. McCarthy said the rejection of the two Republicans Pelosi had tried to appoint was a “gross abuse of power.”

The escalating tension between the two sides – before the investigation began – is a symbol of raw partisan anger that has only worsened on Capitol Hill as supporters of former President Donald Trump surrounded the Capitol and obstructed the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory done. Most Republicans are still loyal to Trump, and with many downplaying the seriousness of the violent attack, little bipartisan unity can be found.

McCarthy said Wednesday that all five Republicans appointed by Pelosi would withdraw, including two that were dismissed by Reps Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio. Pelosi made it clear on Thursday that she would not back down and that Democrats would consider filling the vacant seats themselves.

Pelosi said of the Republicans, “It is my responsibility as Speaker of the House to reach this truth and we will not let their actions come in the way.”

For now it is unclear whether Pelosi will seek to appoint more members to the selection panel, as she has the authority to do so under the committee’s rules. He left open the possibility, saying that there are other members who would like to participate. But she said she has not decided whether to appoint Illinois Representative Adam Kizinger, one of only two Republicans who voted in support of forming the panel last month.

Secondly, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney has already been appointed by Pelosi to sit on the committee with seven Democrats — to ensure she has a quorum to move forward, whether other Republicans participate or not.

Cheney praised Kizinger, saying he would be a “tremendous addition” to the panel. Several Democrats on the panel also seemed to support the idea, with Mississippi President Benny Thompson saying the military veteran is a “kind of person we want to be.”

Banks and Jordan are outspoken allies of Trump, who have continued to spread lies about rampant election fraud and defended their supporters who stormed the Capitol. The rioters fought in front of the police and sent the MPs inside to save their lives.

The House voted in May to create an independent investigation that would have been split equally between the parties, but Senate Republicans blocked that approach in a vote last month. Pelosi said the new panel was being created only because a bipartisan commission was no longer an option.

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