Former Republican Congressman joins the January 6th Committee
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Former MP Denver Riggleman joins the House of Representatives special committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
Riggleman – a former Virginia Congressman and Air Force intelligence officer who was an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump – will be a senior technical advisor to the committee, according to two sources familiar with the selection.
GOP MPs Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are the only Republican MPs serving on the committee, which held its first hearing late last month. But as a former member, Riggleman brings him high profile, and his national security background will give the investigation additional legitimacy.
“I have to say doing this could be one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my life,” Riggleman said in one Video Posted on Twitter on Friday evening touting his intelligence and data analytics experience.
As a former member of the hardliner House Freedom Caucus, first elected to the House of Representatives in 2018, Riggleman lost the GOP nomination for Virginia’s 5th wedding upset some local Republicans.
“We can no longer worry about the color of the jerseys or whether we have an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ next to our name. It’s time we took a fact-based look at what happened on January 6th, “Riggleman continued in the video,” to see if we can prevent something like this from happening in the future. ”
“I am happy to be a part of it and I want to give everyone my word that I will do this in a professional, transparent and ethical way,” said the former congressman.
“In addition to being a former House colleague, Mr. Riggleman brings a deep background on national security and intelligence issues,” said Democratic MP Bennie Thompson, chairman of the special committee, in a statement late Friday in the the selection of Riggleman and General Counsel of the Homeland Security Department, Joseph Maher, to lead the Board.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy withdrew all of his five GOP appointees from the panel last month after Pelosi rejected two of his decisions – Indiana MPs Jim Banks and Ohio Jim Jordan – because of their roles in overturning the presidential election results had. The other three representatives McCarthy chose were Rodney Davis from Illinois, Kelly Armstrong from North Dakota, and Troy Nehls from Texas. Banks, Jordan and Nehls declined certification of the 2020 presidential election.
Pelosi first named Cheney a member of the committee and selected the former chairman of the House Republican Conference of Representatives as one of their first eight selections to investigate the insurrection. Cheney was removed from the leadership of the GOP House of Representatives earlier this year after voting for impeachment against Trump and her continued criticism of his lies about the stolen elections. Cheney had pushed behind the scenes for Pelosi to hire a Republican as an outside advisor or a member of the committee, CNN previously reported.
Following McCarthy’s decision to withdraw his decisions, Pelosi appointed Kinzinger – also a vocal critic of Trump who was one of 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives to vote for his second impeachment – thereby strengthening the GOP’s presence on the panel.
McCarthy has repeatedly criticized Pelosi’s decisions.
“Speaker Pelosi’s rejection of Republican nominees to sit on the committee and the self-nomination of members who share her preconceived narrative will not result in serious investigation,” McCarthy said in a statement following Kinzinger’s nomination.
This story has been updated with comments from Riggleman.
Daniella Diaz, Melanie Zanona, and Aaron Pellish contributed to this report.