Liz Cheney calls Kevin McCarthy's January 6 rhetoric 'disgraceful' and says his lack of 'commitment to the Constitution' should disqualify him from being House speaker if GOP wins in 2022
- Rep. Liz Cheney blasted House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday over the January 6 committee.
- She called his comments on Pelosi's select committee "disingenuous."
- Cheney also said McCarthy should not be considered for the House speakership if the GOP wins in 2022.
Rep. Liz Cheney on Wednesday blasted House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy over his "disingenuous" comments about the select committee to investigate the January 6 Capitol insurrection.
"The rhetoric that we have heard from the minority leader is disingenuous," Cheney told reporters at the Capitol, adding that the riot was "an attack on our Constitution."
"At every opportunity, the minority leader has attempted to prevent the American people from understanding what happened to block this investigation," she continued. "The idea that anybody would be playing politics with an attack on the United States Capitol is despicable and disgraceful."
The Wyoming Republican further criticized McCarthy by suggesting that he should not be considered for the House speakership if the GOP wins back the House in the 2022 midterm elections.
"Any person who would be third in line to the presidency must demonstrate a commitment to the Constitution and a commitment to the rule of law, and minority leader McCarthy has not done that," she said.
-Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) July 21, 2021
Cheney's comments came shortly after McCarthy said House Republicans will conduct their own probe into the Capitol riot, separate from the January 6 select committee that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has launched.
It's unclear what exactly the House GOP investigation will focus on, but McCarthy broadly pointed to the law enforcement failures on the day of the riot.
"Why was the Capitol so ill-prepared for that day ... and what have we done to make sure that never happens again?" McCarthy said Wednesday.
McCarthy went on to criticize Pelosi's efforts to investigate the insurrection, calling the committee a "sham process" and overly partisan.
The top GOP lawmaker originally recommended five House Republicans to join Pelosi's select committee, including Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio, two Congress members who objected to the 2020 election certification on January 6.
But McCarthy pulled all of his recommendations and threatened to launch his own investigation in response to Pelosi rejecting his picks, Banks and Jordan, from serving on the committee. Pelosi agreed to McCarthy's three other GOP appointments, Reps. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Troy Nehls of Texas.
"With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee," Pelosi said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision," she added.
Cheney backed Pelosi's move on Wednesday, telling reporters that the top Democrat is dedicated to carrying out a serious investigation, whereas McCarthy is not.
Pelosi picked Cheney to serve on the select committee earlier this month. The lawmaker has been ostracized by her GOP colleagues, including McCarthy, who voted to oust her from her leadership position in May over her pushback on former President Donald Trump's lies about the 2020 election.
"The American people deserve to know what happened. People who did this must be held accountable," Cheney said Wednesday. "There must be an investigation that is nonpartisan, that is sober, that is serious, that gets to the facts wherever they may lead."
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