Jan. 6 staff angry with Cheney for overfixation on Trump: Report
Staffers speaking with the Washington Post voiced their frustrations over Cheney's handling of the committee, saying she has turned the commission into a political vehicle to launch a political comeback. In her position as vice chairwoman, the Wyoming congresswoman has exerted considerable control over the investigation, steering it away from the original goal of investigating security failures on Jan. 6 to an attack on former President Donald Trump. Her policy of removing investigations not immediately relating to Trump has sparked frustration from many working on the committee.
“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 outlet. “But when [the committee] became a Cheney 2024 campaign, many of us became discouraged.”
Cheney's spokesman, Jeremy Adler, responded that Trump posed a grave threat.
“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,” he said.
He went on to discredit the work of entire teams of the investigation not related to Trump, calling them "subpar."
Tim Mulvey, the committee's spokesman, sent a similar statement, calling all internal dissenters cowards and accusing them of disloyalty.
“They’ve forgotten their duties as public servants and their cowardice is helping Donald Trump and others responsible for the violence of January 6th. All nine committee members continue to review materials and make contributions to the draft report, which will address every key aspect of the committee’s investigation. Decisions about the contents of the report ultimately rest with the committee’s bipartisan membership, not the staff,” he said.
Some staffers expressed anger toward some of Cheney's behavior, such as her bullishness over former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony, which she kept secret from much of the staff. It was apparently Cheney's doing to put Hutchinson in the spotlight and leave her claims mostly unquestioned, including claims that Trump attempted to wrestle the steering wheel away from his Secret Service driver on Jan. 6, which the former president disputed. Cheney's handling of Hutchinson reportedly led to many "unforced errors," the staffers said.
The final report will most likely be released before the end of the year.