Cheney to give an opening statement at start of Jan. 6 committee hearing

Cheney to give an opening statement at start of Jan. 6 committee hearing
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Republican Rep. Liz Cheney will deliver an opening statement at Tuesday’s inaugural hearing for the House select committee formed to investigate the Jan. 6 riot as Democrats give the Wyoming congresswoman an increased stature on the contentious panel.

Democrats elevated Cheney, stripped of her No. 3 House leadership position earlier this year due to her vocal criticism of former President Donald Trump, to the prime speaking opportunity after Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy refused to give Republican support on the investigation in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's rejection of two of his picks. The opening statement is usually performed by a committee's ranking member.

Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, chair of the committee, will give the other five-minute opening statement before moving to questions. The hearing is expected to take two to three hours.

Tuesday’s hearing will feature testimonies from Officer Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the Capitol Police and Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of the Metropolitan Police Department. All four of the officers have previously spoken about what they experienced in the riot but have been called to demonstrate the seriousness of the attack.

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“We really want to try to communicate during the hearing is what it was like to be on the frontlines for these brave police officers — how vastly outnumbered they were, how well-militarized members in terms of the crowd were in terms of the weapons they brought, the gear that they wore. And just what a harrowing, terrible experience it was for these officers, how badly they were injured,” Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who is also chair of the intelligence committee, said in a briefing call Monday. “I think it's going to be quite informative and emotionally very powerful.”

The hearing will also feature videos of the violence.

“The video is really designed as a way to have them explain what they went through what they saw and what they confronted and be able to help explain that many of us have seen these images but really aren't sure what we're seeing, and so we want these officers to explain what's happening,” Schiff said.

Future witnesses have not yet been determined, but Schiff said there would be an emphasis on getting any relevant documents, determining what the Trump administration knew about the day, and why it took so long to reinforce the Capitol.

Pelosi last week took the unprecedented step of rejecting two of McCarthy’s five recommendations to sit on the Democratic-controlled House select committee — Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana, who was set to be the panel's ranking member, and Jim Jordan of Ohio — arguing they would destroy its integrity.

“When statements are ridiculous and fall into the realm of, 'You must be kidding,' there's no way that they're going to be on the committee,” Pelosi said Thursday.

McCarthy responded by pulling his other three recommendations and said Republicans would start their own investigation of the Jan. 6 riot.

On Sunday, Pelosi appointed Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, another frequent Trump critic, to the committee.

While visiting the White House on Monday, McCarthy told reporters on Monday Cheney and Kinzinger are “Pelosi Republicans” and that he could not recall the last time he talked to them.

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Despite McCarthy’s opposition to recommending more Republicans, Schiff did not rule out the possibility of more joining the committee to fill the four remaining slots.

“I don't think anyone has excluded the possibility, at least, that others might be added to the committee,” Schiff said.

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Tags: News, January 6, January 6 Commission, House of Representatives, Liz Cheney, Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi

Original Author: Emily Brooks

Original Location: Cheney to give an opening statement at start of Jan. 6 committee hearing

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