House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday appointed a second Republican critic of Donald Trump, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, to be a member of a special commission investigating the Capitol unrest and pledged that the Democratic majority panel “Find the truth.”
Miami World / AP
For his part, Kinzinger said he “humbly accepted” the appointment, even as his party leaders are boycotting the probe.
Before the commission holds its first meeting, and listens to the testimonies of police officers who fought against the rioters, Pelosi said it was essential to know what happened on January 6 when insurgents stormed the Capitol, interrupting the certification of the Joe Biden’s presidential victory, and why that violent takeover had occurred. That mission, Pelosi said, must be carried out in a bipartisan manner to ensure “that such an attack does not occur again.”
Kinzinger will bring a “great sense of patriotism to the commission’s mission: to find the facts and protect our democracy,” Pelosi said in a statement.
He joins Representative Liz Cheney as the two Republican members of the commission, both selected by the leader of the opposition party. Kinzinger and Cheney were among 10 Republican representatives who voted in favor of the second impeachment against Trump. They were the only two Republicans who voted last month to create the special commission.
“Lies and conspiracy theories have been spreading for months that threaten our autonomy,” Kinzinger said in a statement. “For months, I have said that the American people deserve transparency and the truth about how and why thousands of people came forward to attack our democracy,” he added.
“I will work diligently to ensure that we get to the truth and hold those responsible for the attack fully accountable,” he said.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has said the Republican Party will not participate after Pelosi refused to accept two of the possible members he had chosen.
McCarthy has called the commission a “fictitious process” and withdrew the five people he proposed when Pelosi rejected two of them, Representatives Jim Banks and Jim Jordan. Both voted on January 6 against certifying Biden’s victory over Trump in the election and both have widely expressed that they are allies of the former president.
In a statement issued Sunday, McCarthy said Pelosi’s decision to reject those he proposed and appoint members who “share his preconceived narrative will not lead to a serious investigation” and is intended to “satisfy his political goals.”
Kinzinger and Cheney have said that Trump was a factor that fueled the insurrection with his persistent false claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him through fraud.
In recent weeks, Kinzinger had mentioned that he was willing to serve on the commission, despite threats from McCarthy that Republicans who accept a position could be stripped of their regular commission assignments in retaliation for participating.