Kinzinger Picked As Second Republican On Capitol Riot Probe In Blow To GOP’s ‘Partisanship’ Complaints
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday announced the appointment of Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to a select committee created to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as she seeks to disarm Republicans of allegations the panel is insufficiently bipartisan.
Pelosi said in a statement Kinzinger will bring “great patriotism” to the panel’s mission to “find the facts and protect our Democracy,” citing his Air Force service.
The move comes after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy repeatedly cited Rep. Jim Banks’ (R-Ind.) Navy service when Pelosi blocked him from being the top Republican on the panel over statements he made disparaging it.
Kinzinger, a vocal critic of Trump and Republicans who downplay the attack, said in a statement he “humbly accepted” Pelosi’s appointment, vowing to “work diligently to ensure we get the truth.”
Kinzinger said the post is “not the position I expected to be in or sought out” and called himself a “Republican dedicated to conservative values,” but added, “when duty calls, I will always answer.”
Kinzinger joins 7 Democrats and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), another Trump foe and the only other Republican besides Kinzinger who voted to set up the committee last month.
The committee was set up to have 13 members all appointed by Pelosi, with five chosen “after consultation” with McCarthy. After picking Cheney as one of her appointments earlier this month, Pelosi last week rejected two of McCarthy’s five picks – Banks and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) – citing “ridiculous” statements and actions by the two of them, leading McCarthy to withdraw all five of his appointees.
McCarthy earlier this month hinted at stripping committee assignments from any Republicans who accept Pelosi’s appointment to the committee, but so far he has not taken any such action against Cheney. Asked on Thursday if he plans to take any action, McCarthy said it’s a decision for the House Republican Conference – which voted to oust Cheney as conference chair in May.
“It’s clear that Pelosi only wants members on this committee who stick to her talking points and stick to her narrative,” Banks said of Pelosi in a Fox News Sunday interview adding that she has “already predetermined a narrative about Donald Trump, about Republicans.” Pelosi had cited Banks saying he wants the committee to investigate the “Biden administration” response to the attack, despite there being no Biden administration at the time, as one reason for her veto.
“Based on his service to the country as a congressman and as a United States Air Force officer, there’s no individual better suited to represent the interests of Americans who want to know the truth and facts of Jan. 6,” former Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman, who is under consideration as an advisor to the committee, told Forbes.
What To Watch For
Kinzinger may not be the last additional Republican on the committee, which is set to hold its first hearing on Tuesday with four law enforcement officers who responded to the attack. Pelosi said in an ABC This Week interview earlier on Sunday “other Republicans have expressed an interest” in serving.