SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Tuesday marked the first day of hearings held by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol during the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
The committee heard from four Capitol Police officers who were assaulted as they attempted to defend the legislature from a mob of former President Trump’s supporters. Following this first day of emotional testimony, KELOLAND News reached out to South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson to get his thoughts on what was said.
Johnson started by stating definitively that January 6 happened, and that it was a terrible tragedy, setting himself apart from some of his GOP colleagues who have likened the mob to tourists. Johnson called the body-cam footage shown ‘terrifying’ and says that America deserves answers.
Asked about the removal of Rep. Jim Jordan from the committee by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Johnson lamented the move, calling it a mistake. “It has never been the case before that the Speaker of the House has decided that he or she get to select all of the members on a committee,” he says.
This claim by Johnson that Pelosi opted to choose all members of the committee is not quite accurate. GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy proposed 5 members, including Jordan. Pelosi, as Speaker has the power to approve or deny members, and objected to two members (Jordan and Indiana Rep. Jim Banks) chosen by McCarthy citing the “integrity” of the probe. In response, McCarthy pulled the remaining members he had put forth, saying that the GOP will not take part if Jordan and Banks were not allowed.
In addition to the Democrats on the committee, Pelosi also appointed Republicans Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, both vocal Trump critics.
Johnson has spoken in support of Cheney in the past and asked if he had confidence in her and Kinzinger’s ability to represent the Republican party on the committee, Johnson appealed to diversity, saying the committee would be stronger with a broader range of voices.