Pelosi, Democrats Plan Commission to Investigate January 6 Capitol Riot

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/AP Photo

After President Trump’s impeachment acquittal Saturday, Nancy Pelosi announced an independent Sept. 11-style commission into the storming of the Capitol on January 6.

The Speaker will “establish an outside, independent 9/11-type Commission to ‘investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021 domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex.’”

In the letter to colleagues, Pelosi said, “It is clear from his findings and from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened. As we prepare for the Commission, it is also clear from General Honoré’s interim reporting that we must put forth a supplemental appropriation to provide for the safety of Members and the security of the Capitol.”

Senate investigations were previously planned with hearings scheduled later this month in the Rules Committee. Pelosi asked retired Army Lt. Gen Russel Honoré to lead an immediate review of the Capitol’s security process.

Monday’s announcement comes after Senators Bill Cassidy, Chris Coons, Lindsey Graham, and Rep. Madeleine Dean supported the idea on Sunday’s shows. “There’s still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear, and a 9/11 commission is a way to make sure that we secure the Capitol going forward,” Sen. Coons said.

“We need a 9/11 commission to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again,” Sen. Graham echoed.

An investigation similar to the Sept. 11 Commission will probably require an act of legislation, offering a definitive government-backed accounting of events and the simultaneous political fodder for more eye-catching Trump-mania headlines.

Pelosi’s decision to create such a commission may risk diverting President Biden’s legislative agenda with a continued focus on Mr. Trump.

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