- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Republicans are getting ahead of the House Jan. 6 committee’s messaging campaign as Washington awaits the panel’s highly anticipated prime-time hearing.

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York told reporters on Tuesday that the GOP won’t sit idly by as the Democratic-led panel consumes airwaves and is planning a series of engagements to chip away at the committee’s talking points.

“This week, the House Republican Conference, working with all of our members, will be setting the record straight and telling the truth to the American people — sharing the facts and also pointing out how unprecedented and unconstitutional and illegitimate this committee is,” she said.

After a lull in headlines, the 2021 U.S. Capitol riot is once again dominating news coverage in anticipation of the committee’s hearing.

Thursday’s hearing will mark the first of a series of public appearances in which the panel will begin unpacking findings from its nearly yearlong probe.

Since the committee’s inception, Republicans have contended that the panel has weaponized the Jan. 6 riot and serves as a political tool to target conservatives.

SEE ALSO: House Jan. 6 panel hires former ABC News exec to advise on prime-time hearing

Ms. Stefanik said Tuesday that the committee’s rollout is an attempt to distract American voters from Democratic failures that have led to record inflation rates, supply-chain snags, and a flood of migrants illegally crossing the southwestern border.

“House Democrats have no agenda for Americans and no real solutions to the problems that we face on a daily basis,” she said. “Instead, Democrats are scrambling to change the headlines, hoping that the nation will focus on the partisan witch hunts that you will see this week instead of our pocketbook.”

Democrats insist the sole aim of the probe is to uncover the truth about what led to the Capitol riot to ensure a similar event never happens again.

The committee has promised to present “previously unseen material documenting Jan. 6” and receive public witness testimony on the events leading up to the riot during the hearing.

The panel has also hired a former ABC News executive to advise on its upcoming prime-time hearing and to help shape its rollout of evidence into a captivating television experience, according to Axios — a move that has not gone unnoticed by the GOP.

“This further solidifies what we have known from Day One: that this committee is not about seeking truth, it is a witch hunt to smear their political opponents,” Ms. Stefanik said.

SEE ALSO: Fewer Americans blame Jan. 6 riot on Trump

Ms. Stefanik was joined in Tuesday’s call with reporters by Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Jim Banks of Indiana, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Jordan, one of five sitting Republican lawmakers to be subpoenaed by the committee, kicked off the GOP rebuttal to the committee’s anticipated talking points in a Tuesday op-ed in The Federalist.

In his piece, he argued that the committee is a reflection of a broader effort by Democrats to “slander and shame Conservatives out of the public sphere.”

“That is why the Select Committee will spend dozens of hours of prime-time television coverage to lecture Americans about an event they saw for themselves less than 18 months ago,” Mr. Jordan wrote.

“Make no mistake, the violence of Jan. 6 was as wrong as wrong can be,” he wrote. “But Americans watching the hearings should have no illusions about the Democrats’ true objectives.”

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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