Pelosi might name more Republicans to Jan. 6 commission

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Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol siege will begin hearings next week despite House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) boycott of the investigation. McCarthy pulled all five of his nominees on Wednesday after Pelosi vetoed two of them, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.).

Pelosi named seven Democrats and one Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), to the 13-member panel, enough for a quorum. She said Thursday she may appoint more members to the committee and "we'll see" if that includes more Republicans.

The presumptive Republican addition would be Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who voted with Cheney in favor of forming the committee and impeaching former President Donald Trump in February. "Some" Republicans have expressed interest, Pelosi said later, and "everybody else" thought Kinzinger would be a good addition.

Cheney told Politico on Thursday that Kinzinger would be a "tremendous addition to the committee," and she also endorsed adding former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) as an outside adviser. Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said "we're prepared to move forward with eight members" but Kinzinger is "a fine representative" and one of a "number of" Republicans who'd been discussed as possible additions.

"Kinzinger would likely be the final member added to the panel," Politico reports, citing aides close to the committee. "No other House Republicans would serve and Pelosi doesn't plan to appoint any other additional Democrats."

McCarthy, meanwhile, continued to criticize Pelosi and her rejection of Jordan and Banks, and some of his deputies began openly discussing retribution. "There will be a strong appetite for revenge when we're in the majority next time," said Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.). House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) shrugged off the threats. "I don't think it could get much worse," he told The Washington Post. "They can threaten us, but they're going to do whatever they're going to do anyway," being "a party led by Donald Trump."

Pelosi said her decision to nix Jordan and Banks wasn't tied to their votes against certifying President Biden's electoral victory, noting that GOP nominee Rep. Troy Nehls (Texas) also voted no on Jan. 6. "The other two made statements and took actions that just would have been ridiculous to put them on a committee seeking the truth," she said.

Senate Republicans blocked a nonpartisan Jan. 6 commission the House passed in May.

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