House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday (July 22) that the committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot will carry on despite challenges in recruiting Republican members. The committee will embark on its “deadly serious” work whether Republicans participate or not, she said.
The news arrives after Republicans’ House leader Kevin McCarthy called the committee a “sham process.” Pelosi rejected two GOP lawmakers that McCarthy wanted to join, Rep. Jim Banks and Rep. Jim Jordan, which he said was an “egregious abuse of power.”
Both Banks and Jordan are close allies of Former President Donald Trump, whose supporters stormed the Capitol that day.
“It is my responsibility as the speaker of the House to make sure we get to the truth of this and we will not let their antics stand in the way of that,” Pelosi said Thursday.
One Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney, has been appointed to the commission by Pelosi. Cheney, an outspoken critic of Trump’s, also suggested the appointment of Illinois Republican Adam Kinzinger. It’s unclear whether or not Pelosi will choose to appoint Kinzinger, or anyone else, to the committee.
While the commission’s investigation into the Jan. 6 attack hasn’t begun yet, over 500 people have already been arrested and charged for their alleged involvement. Earlier this week, one rioter who pleaded guilty to obstructing a congressional proceeding was sentenced to eight months in prison.
Next Tuesday (July 27), the committee will hear testimonies from people who witnessed the attack, including Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn. On Wednesday (July 21), Fox News’ Tucker Carlson criticized Dunn and his upcoming involvement in the hearing.
“Dunn will pretend to speak for the country’s law enforcement community, but it turns out Dunn has very little in common with your average cop. Dunn is an angry, left-wing political activist,” the TV host claimed.
Dunn’s lawyers responded to Carlson in a written statement and said the officer still intends to give his testimony.
“Our client has served 13 years in law enforcement and on January 6, 2021, fought against an insurrectionist violent crowd — no doubt many of them Carlson’s supporters — to protect the lives of our elected officials, including Vice President Pence,” they wrote.