We have to get it right;' Why ... Bennie Thompson is the right person to chair committee investigating US Capitol attackYou're all about appearances Speaks, your posts drip of drama and bombast. That is not what this committee needs nor was it ever wanted. 1/6 is about laying out facts and evidence soberly, without embellishment, letting the facts and testimony move the story instead of those asking the questions and eliciting the responses.
Published: Jul. 26, 2021, 6:34 a.m.
As the longtime chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Thompson is accustomed to dealing with grave matters of national security. But his stewardship of the Jan. 6 panel will be a test unlike any other, as he tries to untangle the events of a violent insurrection that many House Republicans increasingly play down and deny.
Several Democrats and Republicans said Thompson was the right choice to lead an investigation that is certain to be partisan and fraught.
"I've dealt with Bennie for 15 years, and we disagreed on a lot, but I don't think there was ever a harsh word between us," says former Republican Rep. Pete King of New York, who was the chairman and top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee for years opposite Thompson. "Bennie is low key, he manages his side well. He was a good guy to work with. He was strong and knew what he wanted, but there was very little drama."
New York Rep. John Katko, who is now the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, gave a similar assessment. Thompson is "a good man, a patriotic American" and a "productive partner," Katko said in statement.
Pelosi chose Thompson as chairman after he crafted legislation with Katko that would have created an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who was appointed to the Jan. 6 committee, said Thompson's history of working with Republicans and his popularity among members will make it harder to malign the panel's work. Reaching the bipartisan deal with Katko was not an easy task, he said.
"I think he has a very even keel that will help him get through this," Schiff said.
Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, another Democrat appointed to the select committee, says both parties have "partisan brawlers" - and Thompson is not one of them.
"He's a workhorse, so he likes getting stuff done," Raskin said. "And I think that's the right spirit for this."
And this has been wildly effective without being partisan or off-putting. Perhaps you might notice one day since it's making non-stop headlines and has moved the SCOTUS off the topline at least for the time being. The witnesses are the story, not the chair nor his members. This is exactly how it should be.