Jan 6 Commission: Liz Cheney Tapped to Lead Capitol Riot Committee

Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) delivers an opening statement during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., July 27, 2021. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) has been tapped to serve as vice chairwoman for the commission created to investigate the January 6 Capitol riot.

Chairman and Democratic representative Bennie Thompson appointed Cheney, a vocal critic of former President Trump, to co-preside over the panel, which will examine the events and the players involved in the storming of the Capitol before the certification of the 2020 electoral results.

“Representative Cheney has demonstrated again and again her commitment to getting answers about January 6th, ensuring accountability, and doing whatever it takes to protect democracy for the American people,” Thompson said in a statement. “Her leadership and insights have shaped the early work of the Select Committee, and this appointment underscores the bipartisan nature of this effort.”

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two GOP picks for the commission, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy pulled the rest of the Republicans, criticizing it as a partisan project and vowing to lead a separate probe independent from the Democrats. Pelosi subsequently asked Cheney and anti-Trump Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger to serve on the panel.

The investigative proceedings are already underway. Last week the committee requested private data and records related to the incident from federal bodies, tech giants such as Microsoft and Google, and cell carriers like AT&T and Verizon.

Earlier this week, McCarthy promised to use a future GOP majority in Congress to penalize companies that comply with the commission’s request and turn over personal user data, which he said would “put every American with a phone or computer in the crosshairs of a surveillance state run by Democrat politicians.”

In addition to coordinators and speakers at the pro-Trump protest, some Republican lawmakers are expected to be among the individuals asked to provide their private records to the panel. The overwhelmingly Democratic select committee technically has subpoena authority to obtain data from private firms, although it is atypical to solicit it from legislators.

Earlier this month, the FBI reported that it uncovered little evidence that the mob riot on January 6 was an organized, premeditated “grand scheme” by Trump supporters and far-right activists, current and former law-enforcement officials told Reuters.

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