Aug 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Former GOP lawmaker joins Jan. 6 House committee staff

Photo of Denver Riggleman sitting at a table with his hands clasped
Photo: Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Former Virginia Rep. Denver Riggleman will join the staff serving the House select committee in its investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, CNN reported Friday.

Why it matters: The former Air Force intelligence officer is the third Republican Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has brought on to the select panel, which Republican lawmakers have attacked as partisan.

  • Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) are the only Republican lawmakers on the committee, but Riggleman brings a high profile as a former member of Congress.
  • His experience in national security also brings added legitimacy to the investigation.

His background: Riggleman, a former member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, was elected in 2018.

  • Though he had former President Trump's support, he lost the GOP nomination for Virginia's 5th district last year after he agreed to officiate a same-sex wedding.

Don't forget: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) withdrew all five of his GOP appointees from the panel after Pelosi rejected Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.) and Jim Jordan (Ohio).

  • Pelosi had cited their attempts to downplay the Capitol breach and overturn the presidential election results.
  • McCarthy, who originally opposed the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the attacks, has threatened to launch a GOP investigation into the events.
  • Reps. Rodney Davis (Ill.), Kelly Armstrong (N.D.) and Troy Nehls (Texas) were the other three Republicans appointed by McCarthy.

The big picture: The committee held its first hearing last month, with emotional testimonies from police officers who defended the Capitol that day.

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