Pelosi announced the creation of a committee to investigate the assault on the Capitol.
Photo: Alex Wong / .
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she will create a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol after Republicans blocked the formation of an independent commission, CNN reported.
The select committee will bring together the various House Democratic investigations into the events surrounding the deadly insurrection, in a single effort, to examine what led Donald Trump supporters to storm the Capitol and disrupt the certification of the election victory of November 2020 from President Joe Biden.
Pelosi said it had been four weeks since Senate Republicans blocked the commission, and it didn’t seem like they would change their mind, so she was now moving forward with a select committee.
“This morning, with great solemnity and sadness, I announce that the House will establish a select committee on the January 6 insurrection,” Pelosi said. “The select committee will investigate and report on the facts and causes of the attack and will report recommendations for the prevention of any future attacks.”
CNN reported Tuesday that Pelosi was moving forward with the select committee, though it denied at the time that it had yet made a decision. But two days later, Pelosi announced that the committee would be formed.
The select committee is sure to spark a political battle with Republicans over the investigation into the January 6 insurrection, who have accused Democrats of continuing to investigate January for political reasons.
“I’m sure he will be political because he has handled it that way,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday, following reports that Pelosi would go ahead with the Select Committee.
But Democrats have insisted that a definitive investigation be conducted, particularly as some Republicans have tried to downplay the violence that occurred or spread conspiracy theories about who carried out the attack.
Advantages of a select committee
Pelosi’s decision to go ahead with a select committee led by House Democrats comes after her initial effort to create an independent panel modeled after Senate Republicans blocked the 9/11 Commission.
With a select committee, Democrats are likely to have one-sided subpoena power, just as the Republicans did when they created a select committee to investigate the deadly 2012 terrorist attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya.
The select committee is likely to take a closer look at the role Trump played in the run-up to the attack, in which the former president spread lies about the theft of the 2020 election.
But the panel could also discuss the role played by some members of the House, including McCarthy’s conversations with Trump as the riots unfolded.