The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote to create a new committee with a weighty mandate to dig into the worst attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812. But as Democrats prepare that panel, it’s unclear which Republicans, if any, will serve on its 13-member roster, and they worry that GOP leaders could try to derail the investigation by tapping pro-Trump chaos agents for the panel.
Some Democrats say they privately feared McCarthy may try to appoint his most incendiary members to defend Trump. That group includes Greene, Gaetz and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), all of whom many House Democrats say would seek to effectively sabotage the panel’s work.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have the final say over the panel’s GOP members, assuming House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appoints them at all. But many in her caucus are still anxious about the prospect of Republicans starting another bitter fight by trying to appoint members who voted against certifying President Joe Biden’s win on Jan. 6.
Even worse, in their minds, would be GOP riot investigators who some Democrats view as having abetted the attack.
“The issue is that … there are indications that some of these folks were in on it. And we can’t have folks who were in on it in the investigation,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in an interview.
“If we are to be serious about finding out the truth, it seems incongruous to appoint people to a fact-finding committee who have really leaned into the big lie,” added Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.)
Pelosi has signaled she wants one of her eight appointments to the Jan. 6 committee to be a Republican, and Democrats speculate that outspoken Trump critics like Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) could be chosen. The speaker declined to say Tuesday whether she would veto any GOP select panel members who opposed certifying Biden’s victory.
Initially, Democrats wanted a panel of outside experts to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection. Instead, they might have to deal with the Trump wing of the House GOP hellbent on sabotaging the investigation.