A former Republican congressman who worked as an adviser to the House select committee investigating last year’s Capitol riot has said he believes Rep. Liz Cheney had an “outsized” influence over the panel’s upcoming final report on the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
“I do think that she should have had more members sort of taking the ball and running with it when it came to some of this reporting,” former Rep. Denver Riggleman, who stepped down from his advisory role in the spring, told CNN on Sunday.
“It’s hard for me to criticize specifically, but I do think that Liz probably had outsized influence and maybe too much influence on the committee. But on the other hand that’s my opinion,” added Riggleman, who represented Virginia’s 5th District for a single term before being unseated by current Rep. Bob Good.
Riggleman, 52, added that he does not know what will be in the committee’s final report, expected to be released next month.
The former House member’s comments come on the heels of a report that a number of former and current staffers on the House committee are angry over how Cheney (R-Wyo.) wielded her influence over the panel and used it as a possible springboard for a 2024 presidential run.
They say Cheney, the vice chair of the panel and one of its two Republican members, pressed its members to focus the report on former President Donald Trump.
That emphasis would leave other topics — including law enforcement and intelligence community failures to stop the riot, information about funding of the attack and the role played by militia and extremist groups in fomenting the violence — relegated to the report’s appendix or discarded completely.
“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,” a former committee staffer told the Washington Post last week. “But when [the committee] became a Cheney 2024 campaign, many of us became discouraged.”
Cheney, one of only 10 Republicans who voted to impeach the former president over his involvement in the Capitol riot, was defeated in August’s Wyoming House Republican primary by Trump backed challenger Harriet Hageman.
She will leave office in January.
A spokesman for Cheney responded to the report about the criticism in the Washington Post.
“Donald Trump is the first president in American history to attempt to overturn an election and prevent the peaceful transfer of power,” Jeremy Adler said. “So, damn right Liz is ‘prioritizing’ understanding what he did and how he did it and ensuring it never happens again.”