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Who is in favour of an investigation into the insurrection of the Capitol?

Democrats in the House are pushing forward with a select committee investigation into the attack on Congress with Republican Rep. Liz Cheney awarded a key role.

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Who is in favour of an investigation into the insurrection of the Capitol?
ALEX WONG AFP

On Wednesday the House of Representatives voted in favour of introducing a new select committee to investigate the events of January 6 which left five people dead. The decision was announced by Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi who opted to pursue the matter after Senate Republicans blocked the formation of a bipartisan commission.

The attack came in the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency and was the reason for Trump’s second impeachment which came earlier this year. Predictably the select committee vote closely followed the voting at the impeachment trial.

The House voted 222-190 in favour of creating the investigative panel with nearly all members voting along party lines, aside from Republican Reps Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger who crossed the floor to join the Democrats. Both Cheney and Kinzinger were among the ten Republicans who also voted to impeach Trump in January.

Cheney awarded position on new select committee

As Chair of the Republican Conference, Cheney was the third highest-ranking GOP member in the House but her support of impeachment saw her removed from the prestigious position. Cheney has continued to criticise Trump for his role in the insurrection and will play an important role in the select committee’s work.

On Thursday Pelosi announced that Cheney would be one of her eight picks to sit on the committee. The House resolution ensure that each party leader is able to nominate members to the panel, although Republican leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy may only select five members “in consultation” with Pelosi.

The decision to include Cheney in the Democrats’ selection appears to be an attempt to stave off accusations that the commission is simply a partisan attempt to attack Trump. Cheney’s involvement presents a problem for McCarthy who will want to keep his caucus united.

What will the other Republicans do?

There has been a notable change in opinion on the Republican side of the aisle after many initially appear to support an investigation into the insurrection. Earlier this year 35 GOP lawmakers in the House voted in favour of establishing a bipartisan commission, but after that was rebuffed by the Senate their appetite has faded.

Republicans claim that the new select committee does not truly reflect a desire to find the truth and is rather an attempt to damage the party. GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who actually voted to impeach Trump and was a target at a recent Trump rally, said of the committee: "I supported a bipartisan independent commission. This is the opposite.”

Republican House Leader McCarthy echoed that opinion, telling CNN recently: "It seems pretty political to me." With this in mind it remains to be seen if McCarthy will decide to appoint five members to the committee, or if he opts to boycott the investigation entirely.