WASHINGTON (AP) – A new committee to investigate the January 6 insurgency on the U.S. Capitol would have 13 members and the power to subpoena witnesses, according to legislation released by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi . The House is expected to vote on the bill this week.
The effort comes after Senate Republicans blocked the formation of an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the attack, in which hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump violently stormed into Capitol Hill and interrupted the certification of the victory of President Joe Biden.
The new House partisan panel would have eight members appointed by Pelosi and five appointed “after consultation with” Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. A Pelosi aide said the speaker was considering including a Republican among his nominations, which would bring the likely partisan split to 7-6. The assistant was granted anonymity to discuss her thinking.
Pelosi said in a statement Monday that January 6 was “one of the darkest days in our country’s history” and that the committee will seek the truth about it.
“The select committee will investigate and report on the facts and causes of the attack and make recommendations to prevent any future aggression,” she said.
Many Republicans were concerned about such a partisan inquiry, as majority Democrats are likely to investigate Trump’s role in the siege and the right-wing groups therein. Nearly three dozen House Republicans voted to create an independent panel, which would have had an even partisan split among members. Seven Senate Republicans backed this bill forward, but the 10 Senate Republicans who would be needed to pass it were missing.
As stated in Pelosi’s legislation, the new select committee would have subpoena power and no specific end date. The panel may issue interim reports as it conducts the investigation.
Trump is not explicitly mentioned in the legislation, which directs the select committee to investigate “the facts, circumstances and causes relating to the January 6, 2021 national terrorist attack on the United States Capitol complex and concerning interference in the peaceful transfer of power. . “The panel would also study” the influencing factors which fomented such an attack on American representative democracy while being engaged in a constitutional process. ”
The House passed the bill to form an independent commission last month, and Pelosi, D-Calif., Said she preferred an independent panel of experts to lead the investigation. But she said last week that Congress couldn’t wait to begin a more in-depth look at the insurgency so she forms the selection panel. She didn’t say who will run it.
Still, Pelosi said the select committee could be complementary to an independent panel, if ever a panel is formed, and that she “hopes there might be a commission at some point.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., has said he could hold a second vote, but there is no indication that the GOP votes have changed.
Many Republicans have made it clear that they want to move on to the Jan.6 attack, brushing aside the many unanswered questions about the insurgency, including how the government and law enforcement agencies lacked intelligence leading to the riots and Trump’s role before and during the insurgency.
Other GOP members went further, with one suggesting the rioters looked like tourists and another insisting that a Trump supporter named Ashli Babbitt, who was shot while trying of breaking into the chamber of the Chamber, was “executed”.
Two officers who fought off the rioters, Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone and Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, pressured Republicans to back an independent commission and met with McCarthy on Friday. They later said they asked McCarthy to speak out against GOP comments downplaying violence.
In the absence of an independent commission, Fanone said he asked McCarthy to pledge not to put “the wrong people” on the new selection panel and that McCarthy said he would take that off. serious. McCarthy’s office did not respond to requests for comment on the meeting or legislation to form the select committee.
Officers also called on McCarthy to speak out against 21 Republicans who voted earlier this month against awarding Medals of Honor to the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police to thank them for their service on Jan.6. Dozens of these officers suffered injuries, including chemical burns, brain damage and bone fractures.
McCarthy, who voted for the measure, told them he would deal with these members in private.
Seven people died during and after the riots, including Babbitt and three other Trump supporters who died from medical emergencies. Two police officers died by suicide in the days that followed, and a third officer, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, collapsed and later died after engaging with protesters. A medical examiner later determined that he had died of natural causes.
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