US House to vote on bill launching committee to investigate Capitol attack | House of Representatives
A select committee to investigate the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol will have 13 members and the power to subpoena witnesses, according to legislation released by the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. The House is expected to vote on the bill this week.
Senate Republicans blocked an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the attack in which hundreds of Donald Trump’s supporters broke into the Capitol and interrupted certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.
The new House panel will have eight members appointed by Pelosi and five appointed “after consultation with” the Republican minority leader, Kevin McCarthy. A Pelosi aide said the speaker was considering including a Republican among her appointments, which would bring the split to 7-6.
Pelosi said 6 January was “one of the darkest days in our nation’s history”.
“The select committee will investigate and report upon the facts and causes of the attack and report recommendations for preventing any future assault,” she said.
Democrats are likely to investigate Trump’s role in the siege and rightwing groups that were present. Almost three dozen House Republicans voted to create an independent panel, which would have had an even partisan split. Seven Republicans in the Senate supported that bill.
The new committee will have subpoena power and no end date. It will be able to issue interim reports.
Trump is not explicitly referenced in the legislation, which directs the committee to investigate “facts, circumstances and causes relating to the 6 January 2021 domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex and relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power”.
The panel will also study “influencing factors that fomented such an attack on American democracy while engaged in a constitutional process”.
Pelosi has not said who will lead the committee. She has said she is “hopeful there could be a commission at some point”. The Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, has said he might hold a second vote on forming the independent body, but there’s no indication any Republican votes have changed.
Many Republicans have brushed aside questions about the insurrection, including how government and law enforcement missed intelligence and the role of Trump.
One Republican has said the rioters looked like tourists and another insisted a Trump supporter named Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed while trying to break into the House, was “executed”.
Two officers who battled rioters, Metropolitan officer Michael Fanone and Capitol officer Harry Dunn, have been lobbying Republicans. They met McCarthy on Friday and said they asked him to denounce comments downplaying the violence.
Fanone said he asked McCarthy for a commitment not to put “the wrong people” on the new select committee and that McCarthy said he would take it seriously. McCarthy’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
The officers also asked McCarthy to denounce 21 Republicans who voted against giving medals of honor to the Capitol and Metropolitan Police for their service on 6 January. Dozens suffered injuries, including chemical burns, brain injuries and broken bones.
McCarthy, who voted for the measure, told them he would deal with those members privately.
Seven people died during and after the rioting, including Babbitt and three Trump supporters who died of medical emergencies. Two police officers died by suicide and a third, Brian Sicknick, collapsed and died after engaging with the protesters. A medical examiner determined he died of natural causes.