A former Republican Congressman said he has left the party after working for the committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol saying, ‘what I’ve seen behind the scenes has pushed me further away.’
Denver Riggleman, 52, appeared on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ Sunday where he spoke about how some of the evidence he saw while advising the committee influenced his decision.
Riggleman worked as a technical adviser for the House select committee that is investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
‘What I’ve seen behind the scenes has pushed me further away. That the party has moved away from conservative principles to this cult of personality that Liz Cheney is talking about. She’s absolutely correct,’ Riggleman told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.
Riggleman was referring to the Wyoming Republican congresswoman who is also the vice chair of the committee and has been outspoken about her criticism of former President Donald Trump about January 6.
The former Virginia representative told Tapper that he no longer considers himself a Republican, adding: ‘I think the party left me some time ago.’
Riggleman later confirmed to CNN that he has left the Republican party and that he will never run again as a Republican. He now considers himself an independent.
Riggleman told CNN that he ‘made the decision privately a month or two ago’ but it was formally announced Sunday.
Riggleman, who has been an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump, told Tapper that the Republican Party has ‘moved away from conservative principles,’ and on to a ‘cult of personality’ surrounding Trump.
The remarks were made when he was asked on the show about comments made by Cheney who said in an interview released Friday that there is ‘absolutely a cult of personality around Donald Trump’ within her party.
‘When you see it behind the door, when you see the data, when you see the investigation, when you see those smart people and what they come up with, Jake, it’s absolutely stunning that cult of personality and also the belief systems. I don’t think any real conservative could follow at any point,’ Riggleman said.
‘It’s absolutely insane what people have sort of put their arms around. If you look at ‘Stop the Steal,’ if you look at, you know, some of the Covid issues with the vaccination conspiracy theories, when you look at all the things in total, the fact is that a lot of that has been pushed by people around the President.’
Riggleman was selected last year to serve as an adviser to the House select committee, but said he was leaving the committee in April to work with a nonprofit organization in Ukraine.
His split from the committee was ‘amicable,’ sources told CNN.
The January 6 committee is slated to begin public hearings on June 9. At that time, the committee will present its evidence and findings.