WASHINGTON – Calling the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 “a day of darkness,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday she will create a select committee to investigate the riot.
“It is imperative we seek the truth about what happened,” Pelosi said. She decided to create the select committee “with great solemnity and sadness” because she would have preferred a bipartisan committee, she said.
A mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol as members of Congress gathered to confirm the Electoral College count affirming Joe Biden’s election victory in the presidential election. The violence sent Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress, including Pelosi, into hiding.
“It would have been preferable to have an outside commission … but I had no (intention) of walking away from our responsibility,” Pelosi said. The Senate failed to approve a Jan. 6 commission last month.
The select committee “will investigate and report on the facts and the causes of the attack and report recommendations for the prevention” of another attack, Pelosi said.
A bipartisan commission proposed to study the Capitol insurrection passed the House last month, but Senate Republicans blocked it.
“I do not believe the additional extraneous commission that Democratic leaders want would uncover crucial new facts or promote healing,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-K.Y., said in May.
Congressional Democrats accused Republicans of downplaying the events of Jan. 6. Republicans said Democrats want to use the commission for political gain.
The House impeached Trump on Jan. 13 on charges of inciting the insurrection; the Senate, led by Republicans, voted to acquit him.
The committee could examine the actions of some current and former House members and senators and the lack of preparedness on Capitol Hill for the attack.
This is a developing news story and will be updated.