Liz Cheney given prime speech slot at Capitol riot probe panel hearing

Liz Cheney, one of the two Republican members serving on the Democratic-led House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot, has been given the opportunity to deliver one of the two opening statements at the panel’s first hearing scheduled for Tuesday, according to media reports.

The Republican congresswoman from Wyoming, Cheney was earlier tapped by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the select committee to showcase the bipartisan nature of the panel tasked with investigating the violence staged by a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters that put the lives of lawmakers on Capitol Hill in danger, reports Xinhua news agency.

The decision to allow Cheney, who has been removed from House Republican leadership over her public denouncement of the Trump, speak after Democrat Bennie Thompson, chair of the select committee, was taken after Adam Schiff, another member of the panel, proposed it last week during a closed-door meeting among Democrats, a report by The Washington Post said on Monday.

“The vast majority of the Republicans, both in the House, as well as across the country, recognise and understand that this was an assault on our democracy and assault on our Constitution, and that there must be a fact-based investigation so that this never happens again,” Cheney said last week of the Capitol riot, for which she joined Democrats and nine other Republicans in impeaching Trump in January, citing the former President’s role in inciting the violence.

“And we cannot allow those voices who are attempting to prevent the American people from getting the truth to prevail and we certainly will not,” she added in the statement.

The number of Republican members of the select committee reduced from five to two, as Pelosi, in another show of bolstering bipartisanship on Sunday, selected Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, onto the panel.

On the Democratic side, seven committee members have been chosen by Pelosi.

The selection of Kinzinger, which led to a growing number of Republicans pressing the party to punish him, came after House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled out all his five selections in protest of Pelosi’s rejection of Jim Jordan’s and Jim Banks’s membership.

McCarthy blasted Pelosi on Sunday, saying the speaker only wanted to select those who “share her pre-conceived narrative”, and that the nominees “will not yield a serious investigation”.

The select committee’s first hearing on Tuesday will feature testimony from four police officers who defended the Capitol on January 6.