Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) blasted her party's House leadership on Wednesday, accusing Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) of continually trying to block efforts to probe the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
Cheney's comments came during a House Rules Committee hearing, which was set up to decide whether or not to put a criminal contempt referral for former Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon on the House floor for a vote.
Bannon has refused to comply with a subpoena asking him to provide records of his conversations with Trump in the lead-up to the riot at the Capitol.
In her testimony before the committee, Cheney said that McCarthy, the House minority leader and the highest-ranking Republican in her chamber, "has been especially active in attempting to block the investigation of events of Jan. 6, despite the fact that he clearly called for such a commission the week after the attack."
McCarthy initially called for a probe into the riot during a speech from the House chamber on Jan. 13, a week after the violent insurrection. He also said at that time that Trump was in part responsible for the attack.
"These facts require immediate action from President Trump — accept his share of responsibility, quell the brewing unrest and ensure that President-Elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term," McCarthy said at the time. "And the president's immediate action also deserves congressional action, which is why I think a fact-finding commission and a censure resolution would be prudent."
However, since that speech, McCarthy backtracked and opposed the creation of both an independent outside commission and a bipartisan House commission to investigate the origins of the insurrection and how to prevent similar events in the future. He declared his opposition to an independent commission in May, just hours before Trump did, calling it a "Democrat trap."
A couple of months later, McCarthy opposed the creation of the House select committee and unsuccessfully tried to sabotage it by appointing Trump defenders to the panel. (Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, blocked McCarthy's appointees.)
On Wednesday, McCarthy once again tried to thwart attempts to investigate Jan. 6, urging Republicans to vote against holding Bannon in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with the select committee's subpoena.
Cheney specifically called his actions out and then appealed to other Republicans to do the right thing.
"History will judge those of us in positions of public trust," Cheney said. "Remember that as you cast your votes. Remember that as you think about how you will answer when history asks: 'What did you do when Congress was attacked?'"
The committee ultimately voted along party lines on Wednesday to put the Bannon criminal contempt referral up for a vote, which is slated to take place on Thursday.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.