House Republicans have abandoned any idea of boycotting the Democrat-led probe into the January 6 attack at the Capitol and are formulating a strategy for the hearings, CNN reported on Wednesday.
After considering skipping participation at all in the probe as a way to cast it as partisan, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is now reportedly finalizing a GOP lineup for the investigation’s panel.
By doing so, McCarthy is hoping to shape a counternarrative to a procedure that Democrats are certain to use as a way to bring negative light on former President Donald Trump and other Republicans.
GOP Rep. Kelly Armstrong from North Dakota explained to CNN that if Republicans are not appointed, "the reality is, then there's only one news story. I've never been a 'take your ball and go home' type of guy."
McCarthy is almost certain to name some trusted Trump allies for the five GOP spots on the committee, but is also encountering pressure from within his own party to choose some more pragmatic members for the positions who can help bring more credibility to the wider public.
Some Republicans are even suggesting it might be wise to pick at least one member who voted to certify the presidential election results in order to help fend off some of the criticism from Democrats.
These Republicans say such a move would help counter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s strategy of picking GOP Rep. Liz Cheney as one of her eight choices for the probe, which was designed to win bipartisan acceptance of the investigation’s findings.
Since the investigation is expected to continue on into next year and possibly influence the midterm elections, the ramifications of the entire process take on an increased importance, according to CNN.
With this in mind, Republicans are already casting the investigation as a politically motivated procedure that Democrats are interested in only as a way to damage Trump and the GOP ahead of the midterm elections — similar to the stratedy the GOP used during Trump's first impeachment, when they relied heavily on process arguments.
Democrats have already made clear their counterarguments to such suggestions.
The Democratic leadership said they had no choice but to set up on their own a select committee after Republicans in the Senate successfully blocked an independent commission of inquiry that would have given outside experts the task of investigating the events at the Capitol, CNN reported.
Democrats also insist that, even under the select panel format being used, the party's only motivation is to discover the truth and prevent another violent siege of the Capitol, not to use the proceedings to go after their political opponents.
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