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Pelosi: Jan 6 Probe Continues Minus GOP07/23 06:13

   Unfazed by Republican threats of a boycott, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 
declared that a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol 
insurrection will take on its "deadly serious" work whether Republicans 
participate or not.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Unfazed by Republican threats of a boycott, House Speaker 
Nancy Pelosi declared that a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 
Capitol insurrection will take on its "deadly serious" work whether Republicans 
participate or not.

   The Republicans' House leader, Kevin McCarthy, called the committee a "sham 
process" and suggested that GOP lawmakers who take part could face 
consequences. McCarthy said Pelosi's rejection of two of the Republicans he had 
attempted to appoint was an "egregious abuse of power."

   The escalating tension between the two parties -- before the investigation 
has even started -- is emblematic of the raw partisan anger that has only 
worsened on Capitol Hill since then-President Donald Trump's supporters laid 
siege to the Capitol and interrupted the certification of Joe Biden's 
presidential election victory. With most Republicans still loyal to Trump, and 
many downplaying the severity of the violent attack, there is little bipartisan 
unity to be found.

   McCarthy said Wednesday that he would withdraw the names of all five 
Republicans he had appointed after Pelosi rejected two of them, Reps. Jim Banks 
of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio. Pelosi made clear on Thursday that she won't 
relent, and Democrats mulled filling the empty seats themselves.

   "It is my responsibility as the speaker of the House to make sure we get to 
the truth of this, and we will not let their antics stand in the way of that," 
Pelosi said of the Republicans.

   It is unclear, for now, whether Pelosi will try to appoint more members to 
the select panel, as she has the authority to do under committee rules. She 
left open that possibility, saying that there are other members who would like 
to participate. But she said she hadn't decided whether to appoint Illinois 
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of only two Republicans who voted in support of 
creating the panel last month.

   The other, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, has already been appointed by Pelosi to 
sit on the committee along with seven Democrats -- ensuring they have a quorum 
to proceed, whether other Republicans participate or not.

   Cheney praised Kinzinger, saying he would be a "tremendous addition" to the 
panel. Several Democrats on the panel also seemed to support the idea, with 
Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi saying the military veteran is a "the 
kind of person we'd want to have."

   Banks and Jordan are outspoken allies of Trump, who has continued to spread 
lies alleging massive fraud in the election despite no evidence of that and has 
defended his supporters who broke into the Capitol. The rioters fought past 
police and sent lawmakers inside running for their lives. Trump's allegations 
of fraud were rejected by courts, his attorney general and other prominent 
Republicans.

   The House voted in May to create an independent investigation that would 
have been evenly split between the parties, but Senate Republicans blocked that 
approach in a vote. Pelosi said the new panel was being created only because a 
bipartisan commission was no longer an option.

   Asked Thursday if Cheney -- and potentially Kinzinger -- could be stripped 
of their regular committee assignments as retaliation for participating, 
McCarthy said "the conference will look at it." Cheney accepted the assignment 
from Pelosi earlier this month despite similar threats from McCarthy.

   Pelosi accepted McCarthy's three other picks -- Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, 
North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong and Texas Rep. Troy Nehls. But McCarthy said 
that all five or none would participate.

   Like Jordan and Banks, Nehls voted to overturn Biden's victory. Armstrong 
and Davis voted to certify the election.

   Banks recently traveled with Trump to the U.S.-Mexico border and visited him 
at his New Jersey golf course. In a statement after McCarthy chose him for the 
panel, he sharply criticized the Democrats who had set it up.

   "Make no mistake, Nancy Pelosi created this committee solely to malign 
conservatives and to justify the left's authoritarian agenda," Banks said.

   Democrats whom Pelosi appointed to the committee this month were angry over 
that statement and concerned over Banks' two recent visits with Trump, 
according to a senior Democratic aide familiar with the private deliberations 
who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss them.

   Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, was one of 
Trump's most vocal defenders during his two impeachments and last month likened 
the new investigation to "impeachment three." Trump was impeached by the House 
and acquitted by the Senate both times.

   The panel is also considering hiring former Rep. Denver Riggleman of 
Virginia, a Republican who has criticized Trump's lies about election fraud, as 
an outside adviser, according to a person familiar with the committee's work 
who was granted anonymity to discuss the private talks.

   Cheney told reporters she agrees with Pelosi's decision to reject the two 
Republicans named by McCarthy.

   "At every opportunity, the minority leader has attempted to prevent the 
American people from understanding what happened -- to block this 
investigation," Cheney said.

   The panel will hold its first hearing next week, with at least four police 
officers who battled rioters testifying about their experiences. Members of the 
committee met Thursday afternoon to prepare.

   Thompson said the hearing would allow the law enforcement officers to tell 
their stories and "set the tone" for the investigation's launch.

   Seven people died during and after the rioting, including a woman who was 
shot by police as she tried to break into the House chamber and three other 
Trump supporters who suffered medical emergencies. Two police officers died by 
suicide in the days that followed, and a third officer, Capitol Police Officer 
Brian Sicknick, collapsed and later died after engaging with the protesters. A 
medical examiner determined he died of natural causes.

 
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