House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated her call for a commission to investigate the deadly attack at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, writing a letter to colleagues dated 100 days after the insurrection.
“On this 100th day, we are determined to seek the truth of January 6th. To do so, we must have a January 6th Commission. To that end, we have once again sent a proposal for such a Commission to the Republicans, modeled after the 9/11 Commission,” Pelosi said, referring to the bipartisan, independent panel created in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Negotiations previously stalled when Republicans rejected Pelosi’s proposal to impanel a commission with more Democrats than Republicans. A spokesperson for Pelosi confirmed that the speaker sent a new proposal to Republicans but did not offer any details.
In her letter, Pelosi noted that two U.S. Capitol Police officers had lying-in-honor ceremonies since January 6:, who died from injuries sustained during the insurrection, and Officer William “Billy” Evans, who was killed in an at the Capitol late last month. She also referenced recommendations by retired General Russel Honoré, who conducted an independent investigation into the security situation at the Capitol on January 6.
“We will be proceeding with a security supplemental shortly, prepared by the Appropriations Committee and the Committee on House Administration to address the physical structure and personnel needs,” Pelosi said. Individual committees are investigating the events of January 6, but Pelosi argued that it is necessary to set up an independent commission.
“Compromise has been necessary; now, we must agree on the scope, composition and resources necessary to seek and find the truth,” Pelosi said. “It is my hope that we can reach agreement very soon. At the same time, Committees in the House and Senate have been holding and planning hearings, which will be a resource to the Commission.”
Pelosi’s initial proposal, drafted in February, would create a panel to “conduct an investigation of the relevant facts and circumstances relating to the domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol,” comprised of four Republicans and seven Democrats. Some Republicans argue that the scope is overly broad. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in February that the panel should either be narrowly focused on the events of January 6 or “potentially do something broader to analyze the full scope of political violence here in our country.”
“If Congress is going to attempt some broader analysis of toxic political violence across this country, then in that case, we cannot have artificial cherry-picking of which terrible behavior does and does not deserve scrutiny,” McConnell said. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also called for equal partisan balance and for Republicans to have full subpoena power, as in the 9/11 commission.
But Democrats argue that many Republicans in Congress promoted former President Trump’s false claim that 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, which created the conditions leading to the January 6 attack, during which a violent group of Trump supporters laid siege to the Capitol in an attempt to overturn President Biden’s victory.
The House voted to impeach Mr. Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection on January 13, the week after the attack, but he was acquitted by the Senate in February. Seven Republican senators joined all Democrats in voting to convict Mr. Trump.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters in February that Pelosi’s concern was “that the commission not be focused on defense of either President Trump or others, who may have been involved and who may have been perpetrators themselves.” Not only had many Republicans promoted conspiracy theories about the election, some GOP lawmakers had spoken in support of Mr. Trump at the rally on January 6 that took place a few hours before the riot.
“We’ve had a deterioration in the ability of members to work together without partisan considerations,” Hoyer said.
Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report.