House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) takes questions as she holds her weekly news conference with Capitol Hill reporters at the Capitol in Washington, July 22, 2021.
Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she intends to name a second Republican critic of Donald Trump, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, to a special committee investigating the Capitol riot and she pledged that the Democratic-majority panel will “find the truth.”
With the committee set to hold its first meeting on Tuesday, hearing from police officers who battled the rioters on Jan. 6, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has said the GOP will not participate after Pelosi, D-Calif., refused to accept the members he picked.
Pelosi, who already put Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., on the select committee, now says she intends to add Kinzinger, R-Ill. Cheney and Kinzinger were among the 10 House Republicans to vote for Trump’s second impeachment and the only two Republicans who voted last month to form the special committee.
“That would be my plan,” Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Pressed on when she would make an announcement, Pelosi said: “Perhaps after I speak with Adam Kinzinger … That is the direction that I would be going on.”
There was no immediate comment from Kinzinger’s office.
McCarthy, R-Calif., has said the committee was a “sham process” and withdrew his five members when Pelosi rejected two of them, Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio. Both voted on Jan. 6 against certifying Joe Biden’s presidential win over Trump.
Kinzinger and Cheney have faulted Trump as a factor in spurring the insurrection with his persistently false claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” due to voting fraud.
In recent weeks, Kinzinger has suggested he would be open to serving on the committee, despite threats from McCarthy that Republicans who accept a spot could be stripped of their regular committee assignments as retaliation for participating.
The House voted in May to create an independent investigation that would have been evenly split between the parties, but Senate Republicans blocked that approach. Pelosi said the new panel was being created only because a bipartisan commission was no longer an option.
Currently, Cheney sits on the committee along with seven Democrats — ensuring they have a quorum to proceed, whether other Republicans participate or not.
Pelosi expressed confidence that the committee’s work will be seen as bipartisan and credible even with McCarthy’s effort to boycott the panel.
“We have to, again, ignore the antics of those who do not want to find the truth,” she said. “We will find the truth. That truth will have the confidence of the American people because it will be done patriotically and not in a partisan way.”
Seven people died during and after the rioting, including a woman who was shot by police as she tried to break into the House chamber and three other Trump supporters who suffered medical emergencies. Two police officers died by suicide in the days that followed, and a third officer, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, collapsed and later died after engaging with the protesters. A medical examiner determined he died of natural causes.