The sun sets behind the U.S. Capitol Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Washington, as the House select committee holds its first public hearing in its investigation of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the wake of the first public hearing Thursday of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot, the finger pointing has already begun in the 1st Congressional District race.
“Unlike the current incumbent who voted for the Jan. 6 commission and Liz Cheney,” says candidate Andrew Badger, “I’m running as a strong conservative who’s ready to fight for an ‘America First’ platform and not cave to the radical left.”
“Whoa,” says a staff member of incumbent U.S. Rep. Blake Moore’s (R-UT), explaining that the freshman congressman voted for one thing and got quite another.
“Congressman Moore voted for a bipartisan commission to review security measures and ensure that a capitol breach could not happen again,” says press liaison Caroline Tucker. “He is disappointed that the bipartisan commission never moved forward. That would have prevented the left from forming the spectacle that is Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi’s select committee.”
In his opening remarks Thursday, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) accused former President Donald Trump of attempting to stage “a coup.”
Thompson said that Trump was at the center of a conspiracy over alleged election fraud and sought to use “domestic enemies of the constitution … to subvert American democracy.”
Committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), one of only two Republicans appointed to the committee, outlined the panel’s case against the former president.
She said that Trump pressured Justice Department officials to say that the election was rigged; pressured former Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes; pressured state legislators to “find” votes; and, summoned the Jan. 6 mob to thwart the peaceful transition of power.
Cheney has long been a vocal critic of the former president. She was one of 10 Republicans to vote to impeach Trump in his final year in office.
House Republicans punished Chaney for her outspoken criticism of Trump by stripping her of committee assignments and she faces a Trump-supported challenger in the Wyoming GOP primary in August.
As Tucker explained, the Select Committee was originally presented as a bipartisan commission. But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) withdrew his five selections for the committee when Pelosi selected Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) to serve on the panel.
Schiff and Raskin had been lead managers in Trump’s impeachment trials.
The blue ribbon panel that Moore voted for would have included an equal number of Republicans and Democrats; would have included professional investigators; would have concluded long ago; and, would not have had subpoena authority.
“Rather than implementing the 104 security recommendations issue by the Capitol Police Inspector General,” Tucker says, “Speaker Pelosi continues to weaponize the Jan. 6 panel for partisan purposes.”
The Badger campaign has been building momentum since Moore made a poor showing at the GOP nominating convention in April.
After three rounds of balloting, Badger narrowly missed capturing the nomination with 59.2 percent of the ballots cast as opposed to Moore’s 40.7 percent.
Moore will now face off against Badger and former Morgan County commissioner Tina Cannon in the June 28 Republican primary voting.
Cannon had already secured a spot on the primary ballot by collecting voter signatures.
Badger says that Moore’s habit of courting Democratic support for Capital Hill legislation is misguided.
“Let the left compromise with us for a change,” he says. “We need stronger and bolder leadership. That’s why I’m running.”
The committee’s next hearing is scheduled for Monday, June 13.
According to Cheney, that session will focus on Trump’s attempts to litigate his claims that election fraud was committed.