House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol held its first hearing on Tuesday. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), a fierce Trump critic and one of two Republicans Pelosi personally asked to serve on the committee, said in her opening statement that the events of that day must be fully investigated, indicating several of her House Republican colleagues and former President Donald Trump won’t escape the committee’s scrutiny.
“We cannot leave the violence of Jan. 6 – and its causes – uninvestigated. The American people deserve the full and open testimony of every person with knowledge of the planning and preparation for Jan. 6,” Cheney said in her opening remarks.
The Wyoming Republican’s inclusion on the committee at Pelosi’s request was a slight against House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and the rest of the GOP conference, who had kicked her out of Republican leadership for her vocal criticism of Trump. Cheney was the highest-profile Republican to vote to impeach Trump, whom she blamed for instigating the violence at the Capitol, claiming he “summoned” the rioters there and then “lit the flame of this attack.”
Cheney said Monday that McCarthy and others were attempting to “whitewash” the mob violence at the Capitol and that it was “a disgrace.”
Speaking Tuesday, she called on the committee to investigate “every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during, and after the attack” — which would include a Jan. 6 phone call between McCarthy and Trump where the two men reportedly got into a shouting match over Trump’s response to the riot.
“If those responsible are not held accountable, and if Congress does not act responsibly, this will remain a cancer on our Constitutional Republic, undermining the peaceful transfer of power at the heart of our democratic system,” Cheney said.
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