House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that Rep. Liz Cheney, the daughter of former VP Dick Cheney and a prominent GOP critic of Trumpism, has been selected to join the committee that will investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
While Pelosi will undoubtedly tout Cheney's appointment as evidence of "bipartisanship" on the committee, Cheney's standing within the GOP has taken a hit after she was stripped of her leadership role within the GOP's House caucus. So far, Cheney is the only Republican to join the 13-member committee, which will consolidate several ongoing House investigations.
Pelosi's goal with the appointment is to give the commission the same bipartisan credentials that were enjoyed by the 9/11 Commission. Members of the GOP, however, might better describe Cheney as a "RINO" - or "Republican in Name Only". President Trump himself has denounced Cheney as such.
The remaining five members will be picked by Pelosi "in consultation with" House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, though he hasn't said yet whether any other GOP members would be willing to join the committee. According to Axios, McCarthy met with freshman GOP lawmakers and warned that they would be stripped of their committee assignments if they accept a position on the committee.
Here's a complete list of the committee's membership so far, ranked by seniority within the House:
- Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) (Thompson will serve as chairman)
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)
- Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Texas)
- Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)
- Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.)
- Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)
- Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.)
In a statement confirming her appointment to the committee, Cheney said "what happened on January 6th can never happen again. Those who are responsible for the attack need to be held accountable and this select committee will fulfill that responsibility in a professional, expeditious, and non-partisan manner. What happened on January 6th can never happen again. Those who are responsible for the attack need to be held accountable and this select committee will fulfill that responsibility in a professional, expeditious, and non-partisan manner," she added.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, who created the legislation that in turn created then commission as part of his role as chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, said at a press briefing that "I look forward to coming up with the causes and effect. It will come in due time. I can't give it a timeline."
The House voted 222-190 on Wednesday to approve the select committee, which doesn't require approval from the Senate. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans blocked Democrats' attempts to establish a bipartisan commission similar to the 9/11 commission to investigate the attacks.
Asked by a reporter about how McCarthy's threat to his caucus might impact the committee's membership, Pelosi said "that's a matter for the Republican caucus."
Cheney was one of only two GOP members to vote in favor of establishing the committee: the other was Adam Kinzinger, a moderate Illinois Republican. Pelosi announced her eight picks for the committee Friday morning.