The Republicans nixed the thoroughly negotiated bipartisan deal to establish an independent commission to investigate the failed, violent 1/6 Trump coup. So now they're stuck with a Benghazi-style select committee established by Nancy Pelosi as a last resort. A big part of the reason congressional Republicans are so opposed to an investigation is because some of their own members-- from coup plotting Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) to terrorist encouragers Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Mad Cawthorn (Nazi-NC) and members who directly aided domestic terrorists like QAnon sisters Lauren Boebert (CO) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA)-- are complicit in the insurrection, several criminally so.
Writing for Politico this morning, Olivia Beavers reported that "In the days after the deadly Capitol attack on Jan. 6, tension among House Republicans was so high that one of them [likely Adam Kinzinger] privately suggested some GOP colleagues be punished for their roles in encouraging the riot. This GOP lawmaker drafted a list of about half a dozen fellow Republicans who had cheered on the pro-Donald Trump rally that turned violent that day, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the maneuver. The sources said Reps. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) were on the list but declined to identify its author-- a sign that the scars from the insurrection remain deeply painful for members of both parties. But the fact that the list even made the rounds, in hindsight, shows how sharply the political winds have turned for Republicans reckoning with Trump's legacy and future. Only 10 House Republicans voted to impeach the former president for his role in the Jan. 6 riot, and most have said little since on the matter. There is close to zero appetite within their party now to break with Trump."
She wrote that congressional Republicans have a big challenge now: how to win the midterms while discrediting the investigation and distancing themselves from it. "Trump allies, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are already preparing for the Jan. 6 committee to turn into a partisan cage match. McCarthy has yet to indicate whether he plans to name Republicans to the panel, saying Monday night that he wants to hear more details before deciding. Privately, lawmakers predict that McCarthy-- if he opts to appoint members-- will gravitate towards controllable Trump acolytes [Gym Jordan] who can work to snarl the select committee's progress. Already some of the GOP's biggest firebrands are asking McCarthy to join the panel, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia publicly pushing to be seated on the panel. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is also openly expressing his interest. And Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado is also seeking to land a spot, according to GOP conference sources."
Mainstream conservative Republicans who voted to impeach Trump don't want to be on the committee "out of fear that its work would capture Trump’s notice." You think? Peter Meijer (R-MI) and John Katko (R-NY) say the select committee will be too partisan; perhaps they remember how the GOP ran the Benghazi Committee whose sole goal was the discredit Hillary Clinton.
Two Trump critics who aren't afraid of him-- Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney-- would love to be on the committee, but unless Pelosi appoints them instead of 2 Democrats, there's no chance either will be selected.
The vast majority of House Republicans who are wary of the select committee have their reasons: They claim it will be a partisan effort to attack Trump and warn that McCarthy could be called as a witness as Democrats seek further details from a profanity-laced phone call he had with the former president during the attack.
McCarthy has said he's willing to testify and repeated that sentiment Friday, responding that "I have no problem talking about Trump."
Democrats are eager to use the moment to make McCarthy's conversation an uncomfortable one. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the lead impeachment manager during Trump's Senate trial in February, said most Republicans have moved on from the attack in record time.
"There were people who went from being brave defenders of the House door to revisionists, asserting that the whole thing was a 'tourist group.' And that did happen in record time," Raskin said in an interview, adding that "we are all partisan to different degrees, but there's certain things where we shouldn't be partisan."
Raskin's party isn't alone in looking for McCarthy to take a stronger stand against Republicans who have downplayed the pro-Trump riot. D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone, who was injured during the response on Jan. 6, pressed McCarthy during a meeting Friday afternoon to chastise those GOP lawmakers. According to Fanone, McCarthy said he would handle it on a “personal level,” a response that disappointed the officer.
But House Republicans have their own scores to settle over the insurrection.
Chief among them is the allegation by Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) that some GOP members participated in reconnaissance of the Capitol ahead of the Jan. 6 attack-- a claim she has yet to substantiate.
Sherrill, a former Navy pilot who also previously worked in the U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey, said she has turned over information about what she saw on the eve of the riot to federal investigators, noting that any action on such material tends to take time.
“We’re seeing information come out about the planning that went into that,” Sherrill said. “I don’t really want to comment on what I’ve seen. Some of it is still under investigation, so it hasn’t been publicly released right now."
Sherrill said she hopes the Jan. 6 select committee can help shed light on tours she claims she saw members of Congress conduct when such movement through the Capitol was restricted due to the pandemic.
Her GOP colleagues are unmoved and in some cases infuriated by her charges. Republicans argue that Sherrill shifted the burden of proof onto them while failing to offer evidence to support her allegation. GOP staff on the House Administration Committee have reviewed security footage from the two days before the riot, watching hundreds of hours of tape, according to panel Republicans-- finding nothing to suggest a reconnaissance tour.
In addition to seeking an apology, a group of House Republicans have filed an ethics complaint against Sherrill.
“They know that they're making this up and they know they're liable for it, and they're just looking for a scapegoat,” said Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), who is leading the ethics complaint against Sherrill.