Former President Donald Trump lambastes a reported decision by Rep. Liz Cheney to focus the House committee’s Jan. 6 final report exclusively on him instead of the failure of security officials to prepare for the attack on Capitol.
Mr Trump, who slammed the January 6 inquiry as a ‘witch hunt’ designed to target Republicans and prevent him from running for re-election in 2024, said Ms Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming and vice -chair of the panel, came to the committee. with an anti-Trump agenda.
“Those who know Chaney [sic] aren’t surprised because she’s a complete PSYCHO, has no respect for the truth about what really happened, and is angry that the people of the Great State of Wyoming put her out to pasture in a record defeat,” Mr. Trump said. on his Truth Social social media platform. “She blames me for it, but she has only herself to blame. Pelosi loved watching ‘Liz’ go BONKERS!
The committee is preparing to release its final report before it disbands at the end of this year, when Republicans take control as a majority in the House.
Current and former panel staffers were reportedly frustrated by Ms Cheney’s attempts to shape the committee’s report to focus exclusively on Mr Trump’s role while ignoring other key details behind the riot of the Capitol – a self-serving decision, they say, is intended to energize the ousted congressman’s future political career. She has not ruled out a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
“We all came from prestigious jobs, giving up what we were doing because we were told it would be a major investigative inquiry that would inform the public,” a former committee member told The Washington Post. “But when [the committee] became a Cheney 2024 campaign, many of us got discouraged.
Trump’s former White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said on Twitter that a 2024 presidential bid for Cheney “was what it was largely about from the very beginning.”
Matt Duss, a former aide to Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, tweeted: “It’s no surprise that Cheney, who played a leading role in stoking xenophobia during Obama’s presidency, is trying to keep the Jan. 6 report focused on Trump rather than the broader political context. . But that would be another form of laundering.
The committee’s internal tensions contrast with the praise Democrats have heaped on Ms Cheney, one of two Republicans to serve on the nine-member panel, throughout the committee’s 18-month investigation.
Citing 15 current and former committee members who spoke on condition of anonymity, The Post reported that internal divisions within the committee boiled over earlier this month when they were told the panel’s final report would rule out investigative work that did not focus on Mr. Trump.
Staff members were briefed that key details regarding the failure of law enforcement and the failure of the intelligence community to prepare for the attack on the Capitol, an analysis of financial support for the riot and a thorough examination of the militias involved, among other elements, would be omitted from the final report and filed in an appendix.
Some staffers said focusing the final report only on Mr. Trump and ignoring other lessons learned from the attack defeats the purpose of the committee.
Several staffers said Ms. Cheney had been much more outspoken than committee chair Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, in pushing for the panel’s series of public hearings and final report to focus almost exclusively on the former president.
Ms Cheney’s spokesman, Jeremy Adler, defended lawmakers’ desire to hold Mr Trump accountable in a searing statement chastising staffers who he says tried to introduce liberal bias into the final report .
“Donald Trump is the first president in American history to attempt to nullify an election and prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” Mr. Adler said. “So it’s true, Liz is ‘prioritizing’ understanding what he did and how he did it and making sure it never happens again.”
He said: “Some staffers submitted poor material for the report that reflects long-standing liberal biases about federal law enforcement, Republicans and sociological issues outside the scope of the work of the select committee. She will not sign off on any “narrative” suggesting that Republicans are inherently racist or defaming the men and women of law enforcement, or suggesting that every American who believes God has blessed America is a white supremacist.
Committee spokesman Tim Mulvey said the refusal of a “handful of disgruntled employees” would not derail the committee’s “historic, bipartisan fact-finding effort”.
“They have forgotten their duties as public servants and their cowardice helps Donald Trump and others responsible for the January 6 violence,” Mulvey said in a statement. “The nine members of the committee continue to review the documents and contribute to the draft report, which will address all key aspects of the committee’s investigation. Decisions about the content of the report ultimately rest with the bipartisan members of the committee, not the staff.