In a move that many in his party will likely deem a disgraceful betrayal, Never-Trump Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL) announced over the weekend that he has accepted an invitation from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to serve on the select committee charged with probing the Capitol unrest of Jan. 6, according to the Washington Examiner.
Pelosi made her intention of inviting Kinzinger to participate in the panel clear during an appearance on ABC’s This Week, ending days of speculation of how she might proceed after having rejected two of the five Republicans put forth by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) – Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) – to serve. Soon after, the speaker issued a formal statement on her decision.
“Today, I am announcing the appointment of Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran and Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard, to serve on the Select Committee,” Pelosi said, adding, “He brings great patriotism to the Committee’s mission: to find the facts and protect our Democracy.”
Never one to shun hyperbole in her efforts to gain political advantage, Pelosi continued, “On January 6th, insurrectionists attempted to overthrow the government during the worst assault on the Capitol since the War of 1812. It is imperative that we get to the truth of that day and ensure that such an attack can never again happen.”
In response to Pelosi’s offer, Kinzinger – who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump over the Capitol protests – issued a statement of his own, saying, “Today, I was asked by the Speaker to serve on the House Select Committee to Investigate January 6th and I humbly accepted. I will work diligently to ensure we get to the truth and hold those responsible for the attack fully accountable.”
Explaining his willingness to join Pelosi’s endeavor, Kinzinger delcared, “This moment requires a serious, clear-eyed, non-partisan approach,” and mirrored the speaker’s exaggerated rhetoric by insisting, “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.”
Kinzinger joins fellow Republican and Trump foe Rep. Liz Cheney (WY) as the only two GOP lawmakers on the committee. Once Pelosi rejected the appointment of Reps. Banks and Jordan to the panel, McCarthy withdrew his remaining picks and pledged that his party would pursue its own Jan. 6 probe.
In the wake of Pelosi’s move, McCarthy added that the speaker had erased any potential “legitimacy and credibility” the committee may have marshaled and said that her actions represented “an egregious abuse of power” that would “irreparably damage” the institution of Congress, according to the Examiner.
Issuing another statement amid the news of Kinzinger’s new role, McCarthy stated, “Speaker Pelosi’s 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, according to The Hill. Offering a further assessment with which most objective observers would agree, the lawmaker declared that the makeup of the committee is designed to do little more than “satsify [Pelosi’s] political objectives.”