Democrats plan to have Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) deliver one of two opening statements at the first hearing of the January 6 select committee, the Washington Post and Hill reported Monday, citing people familiar with the plan.
The committee’s first hearing will take place on Tuesday, and will feature law enforcement officers who witnessed the insurrection.
The Post reported that the proposal to have Cheney speak came from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who believed it would create a “strong visual” as the committee begins it work.
As of Sunday, Cheney is no longer the only Republican on the select committee: Pelosi announced that Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), another of the small handful of Republican Trump critics in the House, would join the committee.
“I will work diligently to ensure we get to the truth and hold those responsible for the attack fully accountable,” Kinzinger said in a statement.
The two Republican appointments came after Pelosi rejected two of House minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) picks for the committee — Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jim Banks (R-IN), two staunch defenders of former president Donald Trump. Both had suggested in recent interviews that they would seek to undermine and derail the committee’s focus on the January 6 insurrection; Banks in a statement had said it should also focus on racial justice protests that broke out during the summer of 2020.
“If Democrats were serious about investigating political violence, this committee would be studying not only the January 6 riot at the Capitol, but also the hundreds of violent political riots last simmer when many more innocent Americans and law-enforcement officers were attacked,” he said last Monday.
Following Pelosi’s rejection of the two committee members, a fuming McCarthy announced he would yank all of his picks for the committee, leaving the GOP to be represented only by those Republicans who Pelosi picked herself.
On Tuesday, following opening remarks from the committee’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), and, reportedly, from Cheney, the committee will hear from witnesses Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell of the Capitol Police, Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of the Metropolitan Police.