Jan. 6 investigator fired from University of Virginia post by state's new GOP attorney general_freckle removal acid

Rebecca Falconer·2 min readIn this article:
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  • Timothy J. HeaphyAmerican lawyer
  • Jason MiyaresAmerican attorney and politician

The lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has been fired from his position as the University of Virginia's counsel by the state's new Republican attorney general, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Democrats say the removal of Tim Heaphy from his post after some three years while he's on leave from the university to investigate the insurrection is likely "retribution" for the House probe — an accusation strongly denied by the office of state Attorney General Jason Miyares (R).

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  • Both Heaphy and counsel Brian Walther, who was also fired from his George Mason University post by Miyares this week, are Democrats, according to WashPost.

Yes, but: Victoria LaCivita, a spokesperson for Miyares, told AP Sunday that Heaphy's removal from the university post had "nothing" to do with his investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack nor his position with the panel.

  • LaCivita told WashPost it's "common" for a new attorney general to appoint counsel "that shares its 'philosophy and legal approach.'"

The big picture: Former President Trump and his Republican allies have claimed that the investigation by Jan. 6 House panel, which includes Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), into the insurrection is a Democratic "witch hunt."

What they're saying: Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) told WashPost she's "very concerned" that someone in a position in a university as Heaphy was "would be fired for political reasons."

  • Scott Surovell, a top Democrat in the Virginia State Senate, told the New York Times: "This is purely payback for Jan. 6 — there is no other reason that makes any sense."

The other side: LaCivita told AP that the hiring of Heaphy, who was previously appointed as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Va. by then-President Obama, was "controversial."

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