Presidential Panel on Capitol Riot Sought by Democratic Lawmaker
(Bloomberg) -- A Democratic lawmaker called for a presidential commission to investigate the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol after Senate Republicans blocked legislation mandating the inquiry.
The suggestion raised by Representative Gerry Connolly’s would in effect take the matter out of Congress, bypassing Republican opposition. The GOP prevented the Senate from taking up the bill Friday through a filibuster, the first since President Joe Biden took office.
“In light of the GOP’s cowardly filibuster of a bipartisan January 6th Commission, I urge President Biden to form and appoint a Presidential Commission to fully investigate the insurrection at the United States Capitol,” Connolly, of Virginia, said in a statement on Saturday.
The legislation, passed by the Democratic-controlled House, was modeled on the bipartisan commission that investigated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Republican and Democratic leaders would name five members each to the panel, with subpoenas requiring both parties’ support.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and former President Donald Trump rallied Republican opposition in the Senate, where Friday’s 54-35 vote fell shy of the 60 needed to start debate on the measure. The bill received support from six Senate Republicans, five of whom had earlier voted to convict Trump for inciting the insurrection, including Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah.
Another option is for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats to create a select committee. McConnell, who has accused Democrats of seeking the commission as a political weapon, said this week that Trump’s role in fomenting the January insurrection had already been “litigated exhaustively” through the impeachment trial that followed.
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