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McCarthy 'shocked' by Cheney's appointment to Capitol riots probe panel

US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that he was "shocked" by fellow Republican lawmaker Liz Cheney's decision to join a new Democratic-led panel to investigate the January 6 Capitol riot.

Updated Jul 02, 2021 09:18 AM

McCarthy 'shocked' by Cheney's appointment to Capitol riots probe panel

"I was shocked that she would accept something from Speaker Pelosi," McCarthy said of Cheney at a news conference late Thursday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the latter was among the eight members she appointed for the newly created select committee.

Cheney said she was "honoured" to serve on the panel, reports Xinhua news agency.

Clarifying on reports that he threatened to strip Republicans of their committee assignments if they agree to serve on the panel dominated by Democratic members, McCarthy said he is "not threatening anybody with committee assignments", suggesting, however, that Cheney is further distancing herself from the House Republican Conference.

"I don't know in history where someone would go get their committee assignments from the Speaker and expect to have them from the conference as well," McCarthy said.

Cheney was one of the only two Republicans who cast the yes vote Wednesday when the House voted largely along party lines to set up the select committee.

She was removed from House Republican leadership in May over her public feud with former President Donald Trump.

According to the rules governing the panel, five members will be appointed by McCarthy in consultation with Pelosi, meaning the latter could potentially veto McCarthy's choices.

McCarthy has not explicitly said whether he will cooperate with the selection process.

A staunch ally of Trump, the minority leader dodged a question at the news conference asking whether the former President in any way was responsible for the attack on Capitol Hill, shifting the blame to a multitude of law enforcement agencies' failure to prepare for the violence.

"There's so many failures along that way that happened the days before that allowed individuals to get into the building," said McCarthy, whose phone call with Trump on January 6 could potentially be a target for investigation in the work that lies ahead for the select committee.

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