A supporter of US President Donald Trump sprayed smoke during a “Stop the Steal” protest outside the Capitol in Washington DC on January 6, 2021.
Stephanie Keith | Reuters
The House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that will set up a special committee to investigate the January 6 violent uprising in which supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.
The measure was passed with 222 to 190 votes of the party line. Just two Republicans, Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., And Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Voted in favor.
“We have a duty to the constitution and the country to find out the truth about the January 6th uprising and to ensure that such an attack on our democracy cannot happen again,” wrote House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday morning in a letter to members of the House of Representatives.
Pelosi announced the legislation after Senate Republicans blocked a bill in May that would have set up an independent, non-partisan commission modeled on the 9/11 commission to investigate the attack. GOP leaders claimed they were only duplicating existing investigative efforts by the Justice Department and Congressional committees.
Under the newly passed law, the select committee is headed by Democrats and consists of 13 members. Pelosi will appoint a chairman and all members, five of whom will be appointed under the law in consultation with Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy.
The committee will investigate and report the facts and causes of the event, such as intelligence and law enforcement activities and technological factors that may have motivated the attack, the law says. It will also develop recommendations to prevent similar events from occurring in the future.
All findings, conclusions and recommendations of the committee are published in a final report to the House of Representatives in accordance with the law.
“Are we going to investigate how our democracy has been attacked, or are we going to give the green light so that it can be attacked again? Will we stand with the police or roll with the cop killers? Do we want the truth or will we let the story be. Are we for the Constitution or for the chaos? ”Said Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., On the floor of the house.
“January 6th was a crime against our democracy and the heroes of this Capitol. Now we must investigate. Otherwise we are lawless. And lost.”
Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., Urged Republicans not to vote for the law, saying it was “partisan politics at its worst.”
A mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6 to thwart Congressional confirmation of President Joe Biden’s election victory. Five people died in the attack, including Capitol policeman Brian Sicknick.
Pelosi invited Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn and Metropolitan Police Officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges to sit and vote in the House of Representatives during the debate. Gladys Sicknick, the late policeman’s mother, was also expected.
Cops who responded at the Capitol and Gladys Sicknick all stood up for the independent special committee, the Associated Press reported Friday.
Fanone and Dunn met with McCarthy Friday, asking him to publicly condemn statements by GOP members who downplayed the attack and voted against honoring police in defending the Capitol, according to the Associated Press.
Dunn, who had fought the rioters in hand-to-hand combat and was exposed to racial slurs, told the Associated Press after the meeting that the goal was “accountability, justice for all concerned.”
Fanone, who described being shocked with a stun gun and beaten by rioters, added that he had asked McCarthy not to put “the wrong people” on the select committee.