2020_wmot_website_header.png
WMOT 89.5 | LISTENER-POWERED RADIO INDEPENDENT AMERICAN ROOTS
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Here are the 9 lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol meets on March 28, 2022.
J. Scott Applewhite
/
AP
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol meets on March 28, 2022.

Updated June 8, 2022 at 9:00 AM ET

The House select committee investigating the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 will hold the first of a series of hearings on Thursday about what it has learned over the course of its 10-month investigation.

The panel of nine lawmakers has interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, and publicly subpoenaed about 100 individuals, including members of Congress. It also collected evidence like documents, texts and emails as part of its investigation into what happened the day of the Capitol insurrection and what led to it.

At least six public hearings are planned for June. Later this year the panel will issue a final report of its findings.

The panel comprises seven Democrats and two Republicans all appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She previously rejected several GOP members originally selected for the panel by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio — citing "statements and actions" made by the pair that she felt would "impact the integrity of the committee." Both Banks and Jordan had publicly expressed concerns over the panel itself.

McCarthy called Pelosi's move "an egregious abuse of power" and pulled all of his picks from the panel. The two Republicans who Pelosi appointed — Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger — have paid a high political price for their participation. And Cheney had already lost her top post within her party before the appointment.

Here's a closer look at the panel's nine members.

Democrats


Bennie Thompson, committee chairman

Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., testifies before the House Rules Committee on Dec. 14, 2021.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP
/
AP
Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., testifies before the House Rules Committee on Dec. 14, 2021.

State: Mississippi, 2nd District

Elected in 1993, Thompson is a Democratic fixture in a predominantly red state. He is the sole Democrat in Mississippi's congressional delegation.

Thompson serves as the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

He previously crafted legislation with Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., that would have established an independent commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6. The measure passed the House but was blocked by Republicans in the Senate.

"We have to get to the bottom of finding out all the things that went wrong on Jan. 6," he said during a July 1, 2021 news conference announcing some of the panel's members.

Thompson told NPR recently that the U.S. came close to losing democracy on Jan. 6.

Zoe Lofgren

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., listens to testimony before the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack in Washington, last July.
Chip Somodevilla / AP
/
AP
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., listens to testimony before the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack in Washington, last July.

State: California, 19th District

Lofgren was elected to Congress in 1994. She served as an impeachment manager during then-President Donald Trump's first impeachment trial, in 2020. She is the chair of the House Administration Committee, which has held a series of hearings examining, among other things, the management of the Capitol Police.

During a news conference last year, Lofgren acknowledged "deficiencies in management" of the force but emphasized "that's not what spurred the attack."

"What caused a mob of Americans to think that they were somehow supporting the Constitution when they tried to disrupt the constitutional process of counting the Electoral College votes?" she asked. "Who paid for it? How is it organized? We need to find that out to keep the country safe."

Adam Schiff

Rep. Adam Schiff is seen here ahead of a House Democratic Caucus meeting on June 15.
Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images
/
Getty Images
Rep. Adam Schiff is seen here ahead of a House Democratic Caucus meeting on June 15.

State: California, 28th District

Schiff was elected in 2000 and chairs the powerful House Intelligence Committee. He was the lead impeachment manager for Trump's first impeachment trial, frequently sparring with Republicans defending Trump, including the current No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Elise Stefanik.

Schiff spoke about the role of intelligence gathering last year.

"Why didn't we see this coming? What kind of advance warning did we have, should we have had? What are the appropriate mechanisms that law enforcement can use to identify when there's a threat to the nation's capital, and how that information can be shared?" he asked. "It's my hope that through our efforts we can get those answers and put additional pressure as needed on the agencies to be forthcoming with that information so that we can prepare for the future."

Jamie Raskin

Rep. Jamie Raskin speaks to reporters on July 22, 2021 following a meeting with members of the committee.
Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images
/
Getty Images
Rep. Jamie Raskin speaks to reporters on July 22, 2021 following a meeting with members of the committee.

State: Maryland, 8th District

Raskin has served in Congress since 2017. A constitutional scholar who taught law at American University, Raskin took center stage as the lead House impeachment manager during Trump's second impeachment trial.

He delivered emotional remarks at the time, recounting the experience he and his family members, who were visiting him at the Capitol, underwent the day of the insurrection.

Raskin told reporters that although he believes the trial determined "who incited the violence on Jan. 6" — referring to Trump — Congress still needs to "figure out who organized the violence."

"How did they organize it, and why did they organize it? What were the purposes of the different critical actors who were present on that day?" Raskin said.

Pete Aguilar

Rep. Pete Aguilar leaves House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office following a meeting with other members of the committee on July 22.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
/
Getty Images
Rep. Pete Aguilar leaves House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office following a meeting with other members of the committee on July 22.

State: California, 31st District

Aguilar is a member of the House Democratic leadership, serving as vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Prior to his election to Congress in 2014, Aguilar served as the mayor of Redlands, Calif.

Aguilar told the media on July 1 that the focus of the investigation is to uncover the truth. "One-hundred forty Capitol Police officers were injured, some of them permanently, [on Jan. 6]," he said.

"Five people lost their lives. Staffers were barricaded here in the Capitol. Members were affected. Everyone touched by Jan. 6 deserves to find the truth of what transpired, what led up to it and how we can protect our democracy moving forward."

Stephanie Murphy

Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla,, speaks as members of Congress share recollections of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol on the one-year anniversary.
Mandel Ngan / AP
/
AP
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla,, speaks as members of Congress share recollections of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol on the one-year anniversary.

State: Florida, 7th District

Murphy is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party and in Florida politics. Prior to her election to Congress in 2016, she served as a national security specialist for the secretary of defense.

There was speculation she might try to unseat Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., but ultimately she announced she would not run for Senate.

During a news conference last year, she reflected on her family's personal experience with political violence in communist Vietnam.

"I fled a country where political violence was how political transitions were made," Murphy said. "And so it broke my heart to be in this building on Jan. 6 and see the kind of political violence that occurred in the country I fled and in countries that I worked on when I was at the Department of Defense happening here in our country."

She serves as co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, the group of centrist Democrats in the House, the first woman of color to hold that post.

Elaine Luria

Rep. Elaine Luria arrives at Pelosi's office for a meeting with committee members on July 22.
Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images
/
Getty Images
Rep. Elaine Luria arrives at Pelosi's office for a meeting with committee members on July 22.

State: Virginia, 2nd District

Luria flipped Virginia's 2nd District blue in 2018. She previously served two decades in the Navy, including working on ships as a nuclear-trained surface warfare officer, retiring at the rank of commander.

"The first time that I took the oath to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, I was 17 years old entering the Naval Academy," she said. "I never thought that fast-forwarding to today, I would be standing here serving in this capacity, looking into why we had a violent mob attack our Capitol, the process of a smooth transition of government."

Republicans


Liz Cheney

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. in Washington on April 4, 2022.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP
/
AP
Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. in Washington on April 4, 2022.

State: Wyoming, at-large district

Cheney was ousted by her party last year as the No. 3 Republican in the House after her repeated criticism of Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 attack, along with his continued false claims that the November presidential election was stolen from him. She voted for Trump's impeachment and lay the blame of the attack squarely at Trump's feet, saying in a statement: "There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution."

Cheney said she is "honored" to serve on the committee.

"What happened on January 6th can never happen again," she said in a statement after being named as a member. "Those who are responsible for the attack need to be held accountable and this select committee will fulfill that responsibility in a professional, expeditious, and non-partisan manner."

Adam Kinzinger

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, seen here May 12.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
/
Getty Images
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, seen here May 12.

State: Illinois, 16th District

Elected in 2010, Kinzinger is also a member of the U.S. Air Force, serving as a pilot in the Air National Guard. He was appointed to the committee by Pelosi, who said in a statement that he "brings great patriotism to the Committee's mission: to find the facts and protect our Democracy."

Kinzinger is an outspoken critic of Trump and voted, along with Cheney and eight other Republicans, to impeach the former president following the Jan. 6. attack on the Capitol.

The Illinois Republican said that although he didn't expect to be called to be part of the committee, "when duty calls, I will always answer."

"This moment requires a serious, clear-eyed, non-partisan approach," he said in a statement when he was named as a panel member. "We are duty-bound to conduct a full investigation on the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814 and to make sure it can never happen again."

NPR Politics digital editor Heidi Glenn contributed to this story.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: September 2, 2021 at 11:00 PM CDT
A previous version of this story said Rep. Adam Kinzinger is a former member of the U.S. Air Force. He serves as a pilot in the Air National Guard.