Kinzinger discussed his desire to join the restricted panel with other lawmakers before Pelosi picked Cheney earlier this month, according to someone familiar with the conversations. He declined to comment on Thursday when asked about his potential addition to the select panel, which is due to hold its first hearing next week with law enforcement during the Capitol siege by supporters of the former president.
But his Wyoming ally offered enthusiastic endorsement.
Kinzinger would be a “great addition to the committee.” I think ultimately it depends on the speaker, but I would definitely support him, ”Cheney told POLITICO in a brief interview.
Cheney added that Riggleman, a veteran online extremism researcher who has previously dug into the far-right elements behind the insurgency, “would be great” as an outside aide to the investigation.
“Denver is someone who has years of experience, especially in all areas related to cyber issues,” she said. “And I think [he] would simply be a great addition to the committee’s work in terms of understanding, recognizing the extent of the use of social media platforms, communications that took place before the 6th. “
When asked if Cheney proposed Riggleman’s name to Pelosi, she objected and only reiterated that “he would be a great addition to the committee.”
At least one Democratic member of the select panel has indicated that he will support the addition of Kinzinger to its ranks, should Pelosi decide to appoint the Air Force veteran.
“I am open to anyone from any political point of view who does not want to hinder the work of the committee,” said Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). “I’m sure Kinzinger wouldn’t want to interfere with the work of the committee.”
Beyond Kinzinger, it’s unclear whether any Republican lawmakers would consider participating in the panel. Representative Jaime Herrera Butler (R-Wash.), Who joined Cheney and Kinzinger in voting to impeach Trump in February, told reporters she would not participate.
“Unless it’s made up of people who are not members of Congress, the American people cannot trust the results,” she said.
The effort to potentially bolster Republican representation in the select panel comes after Parliamentary Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy withdrew his five picks on Wednesday following Pelosi’s veto over the two most controversial names on his list, Representatives Jim Banks (R-Ind.) And Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
McCarthy pledged Republicans would undertake their own inquest into the events on January 6 in response.
But Pelosi dismissed McCarthy’s protests on Thursday, saying she made the right decision in blocking Banks and Jordan over their “antics” in the months following the murderous insurgency.
“I’m not talking about him,” Pelosi said of McCarthy. “Let’s not waste each other’s time. ”
Pelosi said his decision to block those two, while allowing McCarthy’s other three selections to sit on the panel, had nothing to do with their votes to challenge the certification of Trump’s loss on Jan.6. In fact, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) also voted against certification and was not vetoed by Pelosi.
“The other two made statements and took action that would have been ridiculous to place them on a truth-seeking committee,” Pelosi told reporters.
Sarah Ferris contributed.