Fred Upton: Republican congressman denounces ‘false’ claims by GOP colleagues downplaying riot on Capitol Hill

“This is absolutely wrong. You know, I was there. I watched a number of people go down to the White House and then come back. I have a balcony over my desk. So I saw them come down. heard the noise – the flash bangs, I felt some of the gas as it moved in my direction, “Michigan congressman told CNN’s Dana Bash on” State of the Union ” when asked about comments from several Congressional Republicans last week who tried to rewrite what happened on January 6.

The longtime congressman’s comments come as his party’s division grows between members who offer an inaccurate account of the insurgency and those who have consistently condemned the January 6 violence while blaming the blame on the insurgency. former President Donald Trump and his 2020 election lies for the attack. Upton was among 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in inciting the riot.
Among the claims made last week was one by Republican Andrew Clyde, a Republican from Georgia, who falsely likened the riot to a sightseeing tour, saying in a hearing on the attack that “he there had been no insurgency and to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bald lie. ”
Upton told Bash he was not sure what motivated his colleagues to make such statements, but that the statements were one reason he supported a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack. Lawmakers on Friday cleared a hurdle on Friday by creating a bipartisan commission after senior Democrats and Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee reached an agreement on how to structure the independent group.

“Get the facts out, try to assure the American public that this is what happened and let the facts lead us to the conclusion,” Upton said.

After the deal was announced on Friday, it was not clear whether House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy – who has fought with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the House’s proposal. commission – would sign the deal, as he said he was still reviewing it. Upton said in his interview that he hoped the California Republican would support the proposal.

Going a step further on Sunday, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who was ousted from her GOP leadership position last week for challenging Trump’s election lies, told ABC News McCarthy should “absolutely” testify before the commission if the legislators established the investigative body.

“I would anticipate that – I hope he doesn’t need a subpoena, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was subpoenaed,” Cheney said of McCarthy, adding later that attempts to some of his colleagues who downplay the insurgency are “shameful and despicable”.

House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, who helped lead negotiations to reach an agreement on the bipartisan commission, told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Sunday that it was important to know what McCarthy knew about the actions of Trump on January 6.

“We need to get all the facts. I hope we shouldn’t have to end up summoning people to come. We want to get the documents from the House administration. We want to get the documents from the Reform and Reform Committee. government surveillance, Defense Ministry documents. and any witnesses who knew anything in terms of knowing what happened on January 6. The commission needs to hear them, ”the Democrat said. Mississippi.

When asked if this included Trump, Thompson said the commission would also “need to get” information from the former president himself.

“He invited a lot of people who broke into the Capitol in Washington that day. He said, ‘Come to Washington. It’s gonna be wild. “So we have to get from him what it was to ‘come to Washington, be wild’.”

The proposed commission would include a 10-member panel, half of whom would be appointed by Democratic leaders in Congress, including the president, and the other half by Republicans, including the vice-president. The group will have the power to issue subpoenas if they are signed by both the chair and the vice-chair, according to a summary released by the committee. The commission would be tasked with publishing a final report by the end of this year, which would make it a quick schedule for the expert group to release a final product.

This story was updated with additional information on Sunday.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misquoted Rep. Andrew Clyde’s comments on the insurgency.

CNN’s Danielle Diaz, Jeremy Herb, Ryan Nobles and Annie Grayer contributed to this report.

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