Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering choosing a House Republican as one of her eight appointees for the Democrat-led investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, according to an aide in her office.
Though Pelosi hasn’t signaled which member she would pick, tapping a GOP lawmaker could dramatically influence a House insurrection probe that Republican leaders have dismissed as an overtly partisan bid to undercut former President Donald Trump.
The Democrats’ panel will be composed of 13 members, five of whom will be chosen by the GOP, according to the text of the resolution released Monday evening. If Pelosi did chose a Republican as one her appointees, the panel would be nearly evenly split between the parties, with a makeup of seven Democrats and six Republicans.
The House is slated to vote on Wednesday to establish the select committee on Jan. 6.
The legislation does not specify who would chair the committee, leaving that decision to Pelosi. Congressional Black Caucus members have floated House Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) for the role, and he's signaled he wants the position.
Several Democratic sources said they expected Pelosi to appoint a Republican who has already pushed vocally for a meaningful investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection. More than three dozen Republicans supported an independent, bipartisan commission on the floor earlier this month, though it was blocked in the Senate.
Democrats quickly speculated that Pelosi could appoint a Republican whose outspokenness has encompassed not just the failed commission, but also the former president’s role in the insurrection — a list topped by Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) or Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). Another well-liked House Republican who helped shepherd the bipartisan commission bill only to be spurned by GOP leadership, New York Rep. John Katko, is seen by Democrats as unlikely to want the job.
Spokespeople for Cheney's and Kinzinger's offices did not immediately return a request for comment on their interest in the panel.
The committee is charged with investigating the insurrection and evaluating the lessons learned from the security failures on Jan. 6, the same focus as the stalled bipartisan commission. It will also have the power to issue subpoenas.
“Senate Republicans did Mitch McConnell a ‘personal favor’ rather than their patriotic duty and voted against the bipartisan commission negotiated by Democrats and Republicans,” Pelosi said in a statement, referring to the Senate GOP leader. “But Democrats are determined to find the truth.”
The select committee does not have a deadline for its final report on the insurrection, though it could provide “interim reports” on its findings. The bipartisan commission would have presented its final report by the end of the year.
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