A Republican critic of ex-President Donald Trump on Monday said a proposed congressional commission should focus solely on the attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters and not add widespread anti-racism protests to its scope, as some of her party’s leaders have urged.
U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives, told reporters the Jan. 6 attempt by Trump supporters to stop Congress from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden’s election victory was too serious a topic for the panel reviewing it to have a divided focus.
“What happened on Jan. 6 is unprecedented in our history, and I think that it’s very important that the commission be able to focus on that,” Cheney told reporters at a House Republican retreat in Orlando, Florida. “It’s very important that the Jan. 6 commission focus on what happened on Jan. 6 and what led to that.”
Hundreds of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol that day, fighting with police and sending lawmakers running for safety in violence that left five dead and led to Trump’s second impeachment trial on a charge of inciting insurrection.
Cheney was one of just 10 House of Representatives Republicans to vote to impeach Trump, a move that has drawn the ire of the former president and his supporters.
The proposed Jan. 6 commission needs strong bipartisan support in Congress, if it is to be credible. But its scope remains a stumbling block, despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s willingness to compromise on the proposed panel’s makeup and subpoena powers.
Cheney’s comments came a day after House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News that the panel should also focus on the widespread and sometimes violent protests across the United States last year after the murder of George Floyd, a handcuffed Black man, by white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has also called for a wide focus, saying it would help the commission find “broad bipartisan support.”
Cheney said she is also concerned about last year’s unrest but added: “That’s a different set of issues, a different set of problems and a different set of solutions.”
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone and Dan Grebler)
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