After Senate Republicans
voted Friday to block a bipartisan independent commission, Democrats are planning to investigate the Jan. 6 insurgency at the U.S. Capitol on their own.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
(D-Calif.) held a conference call with her fellow House Democrats
on Tuesday, their first meeting since the Senate vote, and said she is ready to launch a House-led investigation
despite Republican opposition and would continue to push for the truth about what happened on January 6
After Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) asked about next steps, Pelosi proposed four options: give the Senate another chance to vote on an independent commission, form a select committee in the House, allow existing House committees to continue investigating the attack
, or assign a specific committee, such as Homeland Security
Pelosi, on the phone, tells Democrats that they can either:1) push for another Senate vote on the commission;2) form a select committee; or 3) allow existing committees to investigate the Jan. 6 investigation. 64) Ensure that one committee, such as House Homeland Security, "takes charge of the investigation," according to a source on the phone. — Manu Raju
(@mkraju) June 1, 2021
Democrats are unlikely to give the Senate another chance to vote on the commission, especially after Friday's vote fell four short of the 10 Republican senators needed to pass. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who was absent Friday, said he would have voted yes on the commission, but it would be difficult to get all Democrats and three more Republican senators on board.
On the call, House Democratic
Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) suggested that U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland appoint a special counsel to investigate the Capitol riot
, though there has been no indication that Garland will do so.
Pelosi ruled out the possibility of a presidential commission, telling House Democrats that a panel appointed by President Joe Biden
would not have subpoena power unless Congress
Pelosi said on May 20 that the 9/11 commission, which the proposed Jan. 6 commission was modeled after, also took a long time to form and that “this is in the works, and it takes time to negotiate.”
“We’re taking it one step at a time. We’ve said what we want is a bipartisan commission
, and I don’t want to weaken that position,” the speaker said at the time. “Everyone knows what my options are, that’s no secret, but our preference is a bipartisan commission.”
Pelosi has also hinted that if a bipartisan plan cannot be reached, a select committee is a likely option, which would give Democrats the authority to issue subpoenas, schedule hearings, and investigate the causes of the attack as well as former President Donald Trump
's role in the insurgency.
On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
(D-NY) did not say whether his committee chairs should conduct their own investigation, but he did say that the House should conduct one.
“We preferred to do it bipartisanly,” Schumer told CNN
, adding, “Every Democrat voted for bipartisanship
, but facts must be revealed.”
On the Jan. 6 commission, McConnell said in Kentucky
, "I stand by everything I've said about that in the past." On the DOJ probe, he said, "Nobody involved in the incident at the Capitol is going to get away with anything." pic.twitter.com/01r0hrI1LX — Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) June 1, 2021
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
(R-Ky.) said Tuesday that Republicans have moved on from the deadly insurgency, which was intended to prevent the certification of the presidential Electoral College vote, citing the ongoing Justice Department
investigation and the increasing number of arrests and prosecutions of rioters.
“Nobody who was involved in the incident at the Capitol on Jan. 6 is going to get away with anything,” McConnell said, adding, “I think we will know everything we need to know because we were all witnesses, we were right there when it happened, and I simply do not believe the commission is necessary.”