Jul 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Cheney: McCarthy is "playing politics" with Capitol riot

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Wednesday said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is "playing politics" with the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot by pulling select Republicans off the committee created to investigate the origins of the attack and pursuing a separate investigation.

Why it matters: Cheney said she believes McCarthy's "disgraceful" actions and rhetoric on the insurrection should disqualify him from becoming House speaker if the GOP reclaims the chamber in the 2022 midterms.

  • Cheney, currently the sole Republican on the Jan. 6 committee, said she agreed with Pelosi's decision to reject McCarthy's naming of Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.) to the committee.

What she's saying: "At every opportunity, the minority leader has attempted to prevent the American people from understanding what happened, to block this investigation," Cheney said.

  • "Today, the speaker objected to two Republican members. She accepted three others. She objected to two — one of whom may well be a material witness to events that led to that day, that led to January 6, the other who disqualified himself by his comments, in particular, over the last 24 hours demonstrating that he is not taking this seriously," she added.
  • "The idea that anybody would be playing politics with an attack on the United States Capitol is despicable and is disgraceful. I'm absolutely dedicated and committed to making sure this investigation holds those accountable who did this and ensures that it never happens again."

The big picture: Cheney said she is confident the committee will complete a nonpartisan investigation, though she said the proposed bipartisan, independent commission that McCarthy opposed and Senate Republicans blocked "would have been the best option."

  • Of note: McCarthy opposed the creation of the commission in May because he said it would be "duplicative and potentially counterproductive."

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