Thanks, but no thanks! Few Republicans eager to serve on Pelosi’s Jan. 6 panel, so now what?

The House voted on Wednesday to create a select committee to investigate the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced her appointments to the panel.

“The next step for us has always been to seek and to find the truth. We want to do so in the most patriotic and nonpartisan way so the American people have confidence in the results,” Pelosi said at a news conference.

The problem being that this will be the Democratic Party’s version of the “truth.”

As Pelosi said beforehand, she appointed one Republican among the eight seats she reserved for herself, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., expected to seat another five appointments.

Confident that the media is on her side, Pelosi did not seem overly concerned about whether McCarthy will play along, stressing that either way, “we have a quorum.”

And therein lies the problem. Should McCarthy choose to participate in what will surely prove to be a partisan witch hunt with an easily predictable outcome — it was Trump’s fault — few Republicans want any part of the charade, and this includes the ten lawmakers who voted to impeach former President Trump for allegedly inciting the deadly insurrection.

Just as predictable was the GOP representative Pelosi tapped, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., one of just two Republicans who voted with Democrats to create the panel.

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., one of the ten who voted to impeach Trump, told CNN that serving on the committee is “not on my bucket list.”

Another lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., said in a statement she wouldn’t serve on the panel if asked. U.S. Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., had little desire to take part in a “turbo-charged partisan exercise.” Saying the “politics of it is going to be very, very obvious,” U.S. Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., was a definite “no.”

One possibility is U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who reportedly said it “was up to Kevin” on whether he should serve — Jordan has been a popular choice among GOP leadership to counter the latest narrative from the opposition party.

He told CNN, “My concern is that this would be used as one more vehicle to attack President Trump.”

U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R- Ga., are said to willing to sit on the select committee, which would promise little peace for Democrats.

Seemingly reveling in the role of bucking her own party, Cheney gladly accepted the appointment from Pelosi, all but assuring the speaker of the “bipartisan” finding she seeks, despite reports that McCarthy threatened to strip committee assignments from any member who might play along with the Democratic leader.

(Cheney was already ousted as the House GOP conference chair for her pushing the Democrats’ take on the Jan. 6 protest.)

“I was shocked that she would accept something from Speaker Pelosi,” McCarthy said of the development. “It would seem to me, since I did not hear from her, maybe she’s closer to them than us. I don’t know.”

“I’m honored to have been named to serve on the January 6th select committee,” Cheney said in a release. “Congress is obligated to conduct a full investigation of the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814. That day saw the most sacred space in our Republic overrun by an angry and violent mob attempting to stop the counting of electoral votes and threatening the peaceful transfer of power.”

“What happened on Jan. 6th can never happen again,” she continued. “Those who are responsible for the attack need to be held accountable and this select committee will fulfill that responsibility in a professional, expeditious, and non-partisan manner.”

At least 500 defendants had been arrested by the FBI in connection with the attack, and the bureau said there are “hundreds more investigations still ongoing.” So who is Cheney referring to? Members of Congress? Former Trump officials? Trump himself? Was a second impeachment not enough?

Pelosi’s select committee with be chaired by U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chair of the Homeland Security Committee, and will include noted Trump hater U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff,  chair of the Intelligence Committee, and U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.

Schiff led the first sham impeachment of Trump, with Raskin leading the Democrat effort in the second impeachment.

Tom Tillison

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