House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of a select committee on Thursday to probe the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
The decision to form a committee comes after Senate Republicans scuttled an effort to create a bipartisan independent commission to investigate the assault.
Pelosi said the House select committee will “have as long as it takes” to probe the “gleeful desecration” that took place as lawmakers were preparing to carry out a constitutionally-mandated step ahead of US President Joe Biden’s inauguration, saying “that trauma is something I can never forget or forgive.”
“It is imperative that we seek the truth as to what happened. To do that we believe that a bipartisan commission would be the best way to proceed in the spirit of patriotism and bipartisanship and establish a 9/11-type commission,” she said at a news conference.
“Unfortunately, despite the expressed support of seven GOP senators, Mitch McConnell asked Republican Senators to do him a personal favor and vote against the commission. Cowardly, the Republican senators did him a personal favor rather than honoring their patriotic duty to protect and defend,” she said.
The top House Democrat said it is “imperative” that the truth about Jan. 6 be established to ensure that “an attack of that kind cannot happen” again, describing the committee as “complementary” to the possible creation of the type of commission Republicans previously thwarted.
She noted that the 9/11 commission lawmakers had hoped to model the hitherto stymied. Jan 6 panel on was preceded by a congressional select committee.
Trump urged his supporters to “stop the steal,” and called them “great patriots” during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. He maintains that he lost the election due to widespread voter fraud despite a lack of evidence and repeated rebuffs from top Republican election officials and his former attorney general.
Four people died that day, and a law enforcement officer died the following day after suffering two strokes. Two other officers present during the riot took their own lives in the aftermath.
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