A group of current and former staffers for the House select committee investigating the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, are reportedly furious with Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney for using her post on the panel as a vehicle to protect her political future.
“We all came from prestigious jobs, dropping what we were doing because we were told this would be an important fact-finding investigation that would inform the public,” one former committee staffer told the Washington Post. “But when [the committee] became a Cheney 2024 campaign, many of us became discouraged.”
Fifteen former and current staffers spoke to the outlet anonymously, voicing concerns that the committee’s final report will almost exclusively focus on former President Donald Trump while minimizing the committee’s other findings unrelated to the former commander-in-chief.
The Jan. 6 committee’s “Gold Team” focused on the former chief executive and its work will reportedly form the bulk on the final report. That prominence will potentially come at the expense of the “Blue Team,” which looked into other areas, the outlet noted. The staffers, however, aren’t merely concerned that their work will be omitted from the report, but that a Trump-centric document would ignore other actors and organizations, potentially leaving the door open for a repeat incident.
“Trump lit the fuse on all of this but he is kind of irrelevant now — it doesn’t matter if he runs for president … Of course we want to stop Trump in any way possible but we’ll still be facing these organized militia types or lone-wolf attackers in five to ten years,” a current committee staffer said. “I don’t think it’s good for the committee or democracy at large if this entire final report is the case against Trump.”
The outgoing Wyoming Republican lost her primary to a Trump-endorsed challenger and will leave elected office at the end of the term. She has vowed to dedicate herself to ensuring Trump never returns to public office and has emerged as a potential 2024 presidential candidate.
Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler addressed the criticisms, telling the Post that “Donald Trump is the first president in American history to attempt to overturn an election and prevent the peaceful transfer of power. So, damn right Liz is ‘prioritizing’ understanding what he did and how he did it and ensuring it never happens again.”
“Some staff have submitted subpar material for the report that reflects long-held liberal biases about federal law enforcement, Republicans, and sociological issues outside the scope of the Select Committee’s work,” Adler continued. “She won’t sign onto any ‘narrative’ that suggests Republicans are inherently racist or smears men and women in law enforcement, or suggests every American who believes God has blessed America is a white supremacist.”
Committee spokesman Tim Mulvey, meanwhile, derided the anonymous staffers and said the “historic, bipartisan fact-finding effort speaks for itself, and that won’t be changed by a handful of disgruntled staff who are uninformed about many parts of the committee’s ongoing work.”
The committee has long been mired in accusations that it is a partisan political operation with the sole purpose of smearing Trump. Both the former president himself and many of his Republican allies decried the committee’s public hearings and private investigations as a farce.