A member of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s GOP conference says it would be a “mistake” for him to form his own investigation of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol after pulling his appointments to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee.
“I think it would be a mistake,” Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) told Forbes, adding that she doesn’t think the panel would “get what we need to get out there” and indicating she would not serve on it or the select committee.
It’s unclear what form McCarthy’s panel would take, but he is taking the idea seriously, according to a source familiar with the matter, who said one possibility is mock hearings with the same five Republicans he proposed for the select committee.
The panel would have severe limitations compared to the select committee, most notably a lack of subpoena power, making it more likely to serve as a messaging vehicle than a genuine probe of the attack.
Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) said he’s “open to considering anything” when asked if he would participate in either probe, adding that he’s “incredibly worried” the end product of the select committee “will not be seen as objective.”
“We’re familiar with the idea that there will be a… reality-based investigation and then there will be people who come up with conspiracy theories and other things they want,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the select committee, said of a potential GOP panel, adding “if they want to go and do a pretend investigation, more power to them.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi balked at a question about McCarthy appointing his own panel during a press conference on Thursday, stating “I’m not talking about him” and “let’s not waste each other’s time.”
McCarthy pulled all five of his appointments to the select committee on Wednesday after Pelosi refused to seat two, Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who signaled they would approach their roles as partisan bomb-throwers. McCarthy said Republicans will “instead pursue our own investigation of the facts” if Pelosi doesn’t reverse course.
After naming Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to the select committee earlier this month, Pelosi is reportedly looking at adding even more Republicans to the committee. She is giving consideration to Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) – one of two Republicans to vote for the select committee along with Cheney – according to Politico and CNN. Cheney is also considering appointing former Rep. Denver Riggleman, a Republican from Virginia, to her staff, according to ABC News.
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“If asked, I will serve,” Riggleman told Forbes. The former Air Force intelligence officer suggested his background in data would be particularly useful to the panel.