WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to create a select committee to investigate the Jan.6 attack on the United States Capitol by hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump as lawmakers certify that Democrat Joe Biden had beaten him in the election last November.
The vote, formalizing the creation of the committee that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced last week, was 222 to 190, divided almost entirely by party. Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger voted with the Democratic majority.
Under the House resolution establishing the committee, it will have 13 members, including eight appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and five appointed by Parliamentary Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, “in consultation” with Pelosi, means she could veto her selections. An assistant to Pelosi said she was considering nominating a Republican from her eight caps.
It is not clear if McCarthy plans to nominate Republicans. He declined to answer questions on the matter on Tuesday, telling reporters: “The speaker never told me about it.”
A key Republican House leader, Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, on Tuesday recommended that Republican lawmakers oppose the creation of the select committee, and some of the Republicans who favored the creation of a bipartisan committee say they would vote against the select committee.
The vote on the House select committee came after the House, but not the Senate, approved the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack on Capitol Hill, when around 800 people stormed the law enforcement officials, some of whom smashed windows and doors, ransacked congressional offices and brawls with police.
Five people died from the chaos, and a protester was shot dead by police. More than 500 people have been charged with a range of criminal offenses, some as minor as trespassing and others more serious, such as assaulting the police or vandalism of the Capitol, which caused property damage of $ 1.5 million in total.
Many suspects have been identified by friends and relatives in scenes captured by security cameras or in videos shot by the rioters themselves and posted on social media.
Most criminal cases have yet to be tried, although defense attorneys have negotiated dozens of deals with federal prosecutors for their clients to plead guilty.
Trump’s role in inciting the riot should be a key consideration for the select committee, along with security failures on Capitol Hill. At a rally near the White House an hour before chaos unfolded 16 blocks on Capitol Hill, Trump urged supporters to ‘fight like hell’ to block Biden’s certification as the winner the vote of the Electoral College which determines the result of the American presidential elections.
Later, however, as his supporters crowded onto Capitol Hill, Trump tweeted, “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are really on the side of our Country. Stay in peace! ”
McCarthy’s phone call with Trump as the riot unfolded could also be explored.
To date, Trump has baselessly claimed that voter fraud cost him a second four-year term in the White House. He never called Biden to officially admit the election result and did not attend Biden’s nomination on January 20.
Now Trump is considering a new presidential bid in 2024 and retains a broad base of support among Republican voters.
Trump has started backing some congressional candidates who oppose lawmakers who voted for impeachment or convict him in the Jan.6 attack. The House impeached him for his role in the insurgency that day, but the Senate acquitted him in February after Biden had already taken the presidency.
Senate acquits Trump in second impeachment trial
Senate vote of 57-43 fails to reach the two-thirds majority needed to condemn Trump of inciting insurgency, after a five-day trial in the same building ransacked by his supporters on January 6
While many Republicans condemned Trump’s actions on January 6, others played down the chaos over time, with one Republican lawmaker saying it looked like tourists visiting Capitol Hill.
Pelosi, in a note to the entire House ahead of the vote, said: “We have a duty to the Constitution and to the country to find the truth about the January 6 uprising and to ensure that ‘such an assault on our democracy cannot happen again. ”
“It is imperative that we seek the truth about what happened,” she said. “To do this, we had hoped that Congress would establish an independent, bipartisan September 11-type commission. We succeeded with a strong bipartisan vote in the House, but [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell asked [Republican] senators to “do him a personal favor” and vote against the commission. Despite the support of seven Republican senators, there is no prospect of a commission at this time. ”
She said the select committee “will investigate and report on the facts and causes of the attack. It will report on the findings and recommendations to prevent any future aggression. And it will find out the truth.”