House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger to serve on a select committee that is investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Kinzinger “brings great patriotism to the Committee’s mission: to find the facts and protect our Democracy,” Pelosi said in a statement on Sunday. Kinzinger quickly released his own statement saying he “humbly accepted” the offer to join the panel. “I will work diligently to ensure we get to the truth and hold those responsible for the attack fully accountable,” he said. It remains unclear whether Pelosi will be appointing other Republicans to the panel.
Earlier in the day, Pelosi said she was likely to appoint the lawmaker from Illinois as part of an effort to increase the presence of GOP lawmakers on the committee investigating the Capitol riot. Asked by ABC’s This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos whether she planned to appoint “more Republicans to the committee, like Congressman Adam Kinzinger,” Pelosi answered: “That would be my plan.”
Kinzinger is a rare Republican critic of former President Donald Trump and was one of 10 House Republicans to vote in favor of his second impeachment. Before the appointment, Kinzinger had been telling people close to him he’d accept the slot in the committee if it were offered. He is joining Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was the only Republican officially in the new select committee. Pelosi characterized Cheney, also a notable Trump critic, on Sunday as a “very courageous member of Congress.” Once the No. 3 Republican in the House, Cheney was removed from the leadership position in May after she criticized the former president.
The House speaker spoke about her plans for the committee mere days after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled the names of the five GOP lawmakers he had put forward for the panel after Pelosi rejected two of them. Pelosi said she objected to Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio because of their previous statements on the Jan. 6 probe that she said suggested their only goal would be to derail the investigation to focus on Democrats rather than Trump. “The two that I would not appoint are people who would jeopardize the integrity of the investigation, and there’s no way I would tolerate their antics as we seek the truth,” Pelosi said. “Maybe the Republicans can’t handle the truth, but we have a responsibility to seek it,” she added.
Banks accused Pelosi on Sunday of having a “predetermined” narrative that she wanted to pursue in the investigation. “It’s clear that Pelosi only wants members on this committee who will stick to her talking points and stick to her narrative,” Banks said on Fox News Sunday. “That’s why she’s picked the group that she’s already picked, and anyone that she asks to be on this committee from this point moving forward will be stuck to her narrative, to her point of view. There won’t be another side.”