Collins criticizes Jan. 6 panel as 'partisan,' Kinzinger says Trump may not need to testify
Corrections & clarifications: This story's headline has been updated to correct Sen. Susan Collins' comments on the Jan. 6 select committee.
WASHINGTON — Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., over the House's select committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack, while lamenting the collapse of an independent commission blocked in the Senate.
"There were many communications with President Trump that day," Collins said Sunday, when asked during CNN's "State of the Union" whether allies of former President Donald Trump should appear before the panel about his role in inciting the riots at the Capitol.
"While the rioters are primarily responsible for what happened, there's no doubt in my mind that President Trump helped instigate and motivate the rioters," she continued.
More: At January 6 hearing, officers recall brutal riot, ‘desperate struggle’ to hold back mob
Widely described as a moderate, Collins voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial for inciting an insurrection and pushed for an independent commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6 in the mold of a 9/11 commission.
Collins told CNN's Jake Tapper that she was "disappointed" the commission was blocked, then criticized the House committee as "partisan" and questioned its motives. Collins did not directly criticize the two House Republicans serving on the committee, Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., instead focusing her disapproval on Pelosi's decision to not seat two fellow Republicans who were nominated by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
"I respect both of them, but I do not think it was right for the speaker to decide which Republicans should be on the committee," Collins said.
More: Meet the members of the House's January 6 select committee
Kinzinger poured water on the idea of Trump himself testifying during an interview with ABC News' "This Week" on Sunday.
"If he has unique information, that's one thing, but I think there's a lot of people around him that knew some things," Kinzinger said of the former president.
"But I think the bigger thing is just ... that the American people deserve the truth they need the truth," he continued.
Kinzinger, however, added that the committee may call on McCarthy, R-Calif., to testify because of his communications with Trump during the attack and knowledge of the former president's whereabouts and mental state.
"I would support subpoenas to anything who can shed light on that. If that's the leader, that's the leader," Kinzinger said.
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The Illinois Republican also indicated other colleagues, including Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, may also be called to testify.
While House Democrats advanced a motion to establish a Jan. 6 independent commission, Senate Republicans blocked the measure by filibuster. House Democrats then established their own Select Committee with sitting lawmakers to investigate instead.
Shortly before its first hearing, Pelosi, D-Calif., denied two Republican nominations to the committee, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Jordan over their votes to contest the 2020 election.
"With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee," she said in a statement.
Follow Matthew Brown online @mrbrownsir.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Collins questions Jan. 6 panel, Kinzinger says Trump testimony unlikely