- Monday, June 24, 2024

The hard work of Rep. Barry Loudermilk and his team on the House Administration Committee has proved that the Jan. 6 committee operated completely outside the bounds of legitimacy.

The Jan. 6 committee broke House rules, violated legal ethics, trampled witnesses’ constitutional rights, and established a systematic pattern of lying and misleading Congress and the nation.

The evidence Mr. Loudermilk, Georgia Republican, has been developing further makes clear that then-Rep. Liz Cheney was a driving force in polluting the committee.

Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi picked all the committee members. The committee never met the House standards for genuine bipartisanship. The speed and recklessness with which it was established and populated further indicated that it was poisoned from the beginning.

On June 28, 2021, Mrs. Pelosi introduced the resolution to establish the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Two days later — in a largely partisan vote — the House passed it with a 222-190 vote. All the Democrats and only two Republicans, Ms. Cheney and then-Rep. Adam Kinzinger, voted to establish the committee. The other 190 Republicans present voted against it.

The next day, Mrs. Pelosi appointed eight members: Reps. Bennie Thompson, Zoe Lofgren, Adam Schiff, Pete Aguilar, Stephanie Murphy, Jamie Raskin, Elaine Luria and Cheney. The following month, she appointed Mr. Kinzinger, the Illinois Republican who was openly anti-Trump and had voted to impeach him. He was a perfect fit for the Pelosi-Cheney goal of having a one-sided investigation.

Then-Republican leader Kevin McCarthy had previously named five potential Republicans for the committee: Reps. Jim Banks, Jim Jordan, Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong and Troy Nehls. Neither Ms. Cheney nor Mr. Kinzinger was on McCarthy’s list. Mrs. Pelosi had of course  rejected Mr. Banks and Mr. Jordan, so Mr. McCarthy pulled all Republicans from the committee. So, at this point, Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger were effectively functioning as Democrats.

By Sept. 2, 2021, Mr. Thompson had named Ms. Cheney vice chair of the committee.

From Mrs. Pelosi’s standpoint, Ms. Cheney was the perfect pick. Ms. Cheney’s own rabid hatred of former President Donald Trump had driven her from being a rising star in the Republican Party to being a pariah who worked with Democrats.

The Wyoming Republican Party had censured Ms. Cheney over her anti-Trump mania. She had infuriated enough House Republicans to be ousted as chair of the House Republican Conference, the third-highest minority party job. She went from that high-ranking post to becoming vice chair of the select committee designed to help Democrats and attack Republicans.

On the committee, Ms. Cheney’s hatred for Mr. Trump further drove her to a series of actions that violated House rules and ignored legal ethics. She destroyed evidence to keep it from the House and manipulated information to prove her points — even when they were profoundly false. Throughout the process, she also knowingly violated the canon of ethics by manipulating witnesses without their attorneys’ knowledge.

Ms. Cheney’s contempt for Republicans was clear when she said to the committee in June 2022, “Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.”

I remember watching at the time and thinking what a deep level of anger and arrogance it must take to publicly condemn people who had once made you their third-ranking leader.

Then, it occurred to me: Mrs. Pelosi was tactically attacking Mr. Trump as a current opponent — and strategically destroying a potential future rival in Ms. Cheney at the same time.

This only clarified my belief that the Jan. 6 committee was a calculated, partisan fraud focused solely on imposing a false narrative on the country to help elect Democrats.

As Mr. Loudermilk is proving in his investigation, the current Congress owes it to history and justice to repudiate the Jan. 6 committee and declare its findings, subpoenas and other actions null and void. 

• For more commentary form Newt Gingrich, visit Gingrich360.com. And subscribe to the “Newt’s World” podcast.

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