Collins questioned panel on January sixth, Kinzinger says Trump assertion is unlikely

Corrections and Clarifications: The heading of this story has been updated to correct Senator Susan Collins’ comments on the January 6th selection committee.

WASHINGTON – Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California for the House special committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and lamented the collapse of an independent commission that was blocked in the Senate.

“There were a lot of communications with President Trump that day,” said Collins on Sunday when asked on CNN’s State of the Union show if Trump were allies to the panel on his role in inciting the riot should appear in the Capitol.

“While the rioters are primarily responsible for what happened, I have no doubt that President Trump helped instigate and motivate the rioters,” she continued.

More:At the January 6 hearing, officials recalled brutal uprising, “desperate struggle” to hold back the mob

Widely known as moderate, Collins voted to charge Trump with incitement to riot and pushed for an independent commission to investigate the January 6 events through a 9/11 commission.

Collins told CNN’s Jake Tapper that she was “disappointed” that the committee was blocked, then criticized the House committee for being “partisan” and questioning its motives. Collins did not directly criticize the two House Republicans on the committee, Liz Cheney, R-Wyo, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., But instead focused their disapproval on Pelosi’s decision not to nominate two fellow nominees by Kevin McCarthy , the leader of the house minority.

“I respect both of them, but I don’t think it was right for the speaker to decide which Republicans should be on the committee,” said Collins.

More:Meet the members of the House Select Committee on January 6th

Kinzinger poured water on the idea that Trump himself testified during an interview with ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday.

“If he has unique information, that’s one thing, but I think there are a lot of people around him who knew some things,” said Kinzinger of the former president.

“But I think the bigger thing is … that the American people deserve the truth, they need the truth,” he continued.

However, Kinzinger added that the committee could ask McCarthy, R-Calif., To testify about his communication with Trump during the attack and knowledge of the former president’s whereabouts and mental health.

“I would support subpoenas for anything that can shed light on the darkness. If that’s the leader, then that’s the leader,” said Kinzinger.

Fact check:Misleading claim about “Antifa member” in Capitol Uprising on January 6th

The Illinois Republican also indicated that other colleagues, including Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, could also be called to testify.

While the Democrats in the House of Representatives applied for an independent commission on January 6, the Republicans in the Senate blocked the measure by filibuster. The House Democrats then set up their own special committee with incumbent lawmakers to investigate instead.

Shortly before its first hearing, Pelosi, D-California, turned down two Republican nominations for the committee, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., And Jordan, because of their votes for the 2020 election.

“With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with perseverance for the truth and with concern about the statements and actions of these members, I must reject the recommendations of the representatives of the banks and Jordan to the special committee,” she said in a statement.

Follow Matthew Brown online at @mrbrownsir.

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