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Trump-endorsed John Gibbs falsely states Peter Meijer voted to create Jan. 6 committee

·3 min read
Republican House of Representative candidate John Gibbs speaks during a Save America rally at the Michigan Stars Sports Center in Washington Township on April 2, 2022.

The claim: Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids, voted to "create the Adam Schiff-led January 6th Commission"

The latest attack from John Gibbs against his GOP primary opponent Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Grand Rapids, misrepresents the freshman congressman's vote on the congressional committee currently investigating the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

In a fundraising email from his campaign, Gibbs claimed that Meijer voted to "create the Adam Schiff-led January 6th Commission."

To back up its claim, Gibbs' campaign pointed to Meijer's vote for a bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol attack that was never created because Senate Republicans blocked the proposal. But Meijer voted against creating the committee that is currently carrying out the probe and whose members were selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

A spokesperson for Gibbs' campaign called U.S. Rep. Schiff, D-Calif., "a central voice" on the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. But the group's chair is Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., not Schiff.

The closely watched primary in Michigan between Gibbs and Meijer is one of a handful where an incumbent Republican faces a Donald Trump-endorsed candidate.

Meijer was among the 10 Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives who voted to impeach the former president for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection on the day members of Congress convened to certify Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election.

Gibbs — who worked in the Trump administration at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — has made Meijer's vote to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 insurrection a key talking point against his GOP opponent.

Meijer was also among a small group of Republicans who voted to establish a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol.

"Let us be clear: the imperative to have a public, objective, fact-based investigation of the Capitol attack is not a partisan issue, and it should never be treated as such," Meijer said during a speech on the House floor outlining his support for a bipartisan commission.

But after Senate Republicans blocked the proposal, Meijer subsequently voted against creating the Select Committee currently undertaking the congressional probe into the Jan. 6 attack. In a series of tweets explaining his vote, Meijer once more stated his support for an investigation into the insurrection but raised concerns about the format of the proposed committee.

"I believe it is essential we have a thorough, credible Jan. 6 investigation in order to produce an objective report to get at the truth and clear away fictions and lies," Meijer wrote. "I fear the structure of this partisan select committee will not produce that critical outcome."

The bipartisan commission initially proposed and supported by Meijer would have entitled Democratic and Republican legislative leaders to the same number of appointments. But the resolution that created today's select committee entitled Pelosi to select its chair and appoint 13 members, including five selected following consultation with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

Pelosi appointed the committee's two Republican members: Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. But Pelosi rejected two GOP lawmakers nominated by McCarthy, stating they would undermine the committee's work because of their previous claims about the Jan. 6 attack.

McCarthy pulled his remaining picks from the committee in protest.

Our rating

Gibbs claimed that Meijer voted to "create the Adam Schiff-led January 6th Commission." Meijer voted against establishing the select committee currently investigating the Capitol attack. Prior to that, he did vote for a bipartisan commission. But that commission was never created, and the committee that was established is not led by Schiff, who serves as a member but not its chair.

We rate this claim false.

Clara Hendrickson fact-checks Michigan issues and politics as a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project. Make a tax-deductible contribution to support her work at bit.ly/freepRFA. Contact her at chendrickson@freepress.com or 313-296-5743. Follow her on Twitter @clarajanehen.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Meijer's GOP primary opponent makes false claim on key vote