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Pelosi taps Republican Adam Kinzinger for January 6 committee

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Washington — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed GOP Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois to serve on the select committee investigating the January 6 assault on the Capitol, she announced Sunday. Kinzinger is the second Republican Pelosi has added to the committee. 

Kinzinger's name was floated as a potential pick for the committee late last week after Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sparred over his selections for the panel, over which the House speaker has veto-power.

In announcing Kinzinger's appointment, Pelosi said he "brings great patriotism to the committee's mission: to find the facts and protect our democracy."

Kinzinger said in a statement Pelosi asked him Sunday to join the select committee and he "humbly accepted."

"This moment requires a serious, clear-eyed, non-partisan approach," he said. "We are duty-bound to conduct a full investigation on the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814 and to make sure it can never happen again."

Pelosi and McCarthy went head-to-head over the bipartisan membership of the January 6 select committee after the House speaker announced she would be rejecting two of the Republicans that McCarthy picked to sit on the panel, Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana and Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, for past comments they made about the January 6 assault.

McCarthy then said he would be pulling all five Republicans from the committee if Pelosi followed through with her decision to nix the two GOP picks, leaving the 13-member committee with seven Democrats and one Republican, Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who Pelosi appointed.

The House speaker on Thursday said a number of Republicans "expressed their interest" in serving on the panel, but did not say who. 

Following Pelosi's announcement that Kinzinger would be joining the committee, McCarthy said her "rejection of the Republican nominees to serve on the committee and self-appointment of members who share her pre-conceived narrative will not yield a serious investigation."

"Speaker Pelosi's departure from this serious-minded approach has destroyed the select committee's credibility," McCarthy said in a statement. "The U.S. Capitol and the men and women who protect it suffered a massive leadership failure. We must make sure that never happens again and that is what Republicans will be focused on."

The select committee is set to hold its first hearing Tuesday and will hear from U.S. Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officers who responded to the mob of former President Trump's supporters.

Pelosi said Sunday it is "imperative" for lawmakers to probe the January 6 riots to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran, is in his sixth term in the House and has been a vocal critic of Mr. Trump for his repeated false claims about the 2020 presidential election and conduct surrounding the January 6 assault. 

He and Cheney were among the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump on the charge of incitement of insurrection and voted to create a bipartisan commission to examine the January 6 assault, though legislation to do so failed in the Senate.

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