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Congress moves closer to forming Capitol riot commission

Congress moves closer to forming Capitol riot commission

Congress is moving closer to forming a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, with a bipartisan agreement emerging in a key House committee.

The deal would create a 10-person body, with five commissioners, including the chairperson, picked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The other half of the commission members would be selected by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The panel would explore still-murky details, including whether there was any planning to disrupt certification of President Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. A report would be due by the end of this year.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) announced the plan with top committee Republican Rep. John Katko (R-NY). A bill to create the commission is being introduced Friday, with a likely House floor vote next week.

But Katko later told reporters on Capitol Hill that McCarthy hadn’t signed off. “He’s looking at it,” Katko said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer would choose five of the 10 committee members.
ERIN SCHAFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

A commission to investigate the Capi tol riot has been somewhat contentious as Republicans express concern that Democrats may be attempting to use the violence to smear them politically.

“The focus for me is making it a better security and law enforcement agency because obviously there were a lot of shortcomings that manifested itself on Jan. 6 that we need to fix,” Katko told The Post, referring to the Capitol Police.

National Guard troops are deployed at the U.S. Capitol following the January 6th riot.
National Guard troops are deployed at the US Capitol following the January 6 riot.
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The riot occurred shortly after a speech near the White House in which then-President Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to go to Capitol Hill to support Republican challenges to Biden electors. After windows and doors were smashed, hundreds poured into the building, causing lawmakers to flee.

House Democrats, joined by 10 Republicans, impeached Trump one week after the riot for allegedly inciting an insurrection. He was acquitted after leaving office by the Senate, with 57 senators, including seven Republicans, voting that he was guilty — less than the two-thirds threshold required for conviction.

Federal prosecutors and the FBI have not divulged any grand conspiracy as part of criminal prosecutions. Many of the alleged rioters are in jail awaiting trial.

Although protests are common in the area, the marauding mob was an unprecedented scene.

One Trump supporter, Ashli Babbitt, 35, was fatally shot by a cop as she climbed through a busted-out window in the House Speaker’s Lobby. Another Trump supporter, Rosanne Boyland, 34, died after collapsing in the Rotunda during clashes with police.

Two other Trump supporters — Benjamin Philips, 50, and Kevin Greeson, 55 — died of medical emergencies during the mayhem. After the attack, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, 42, himself a Trump voter, died of a stroke.

Rioters enter the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Rioters enter the Senate chamber on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

At least two police officers and one accused rioter subsequently died by suicide.

The Capitol has been attacked before, most notably when it was burned by the British in 1814. In 1954, Puerto Rican nationalists snuck guns into the House chamber and opened fire, wounding five congressmen.

There were several non-fatal bomb attacks on the Capitol — including in 1983 by a left-wing group opposed to the US military interventions in Grenada and Lebanon, in 1971 by the left-wing radical group the Weathermen, and in 1915 by a Harvard professor opposed to World War I.

Pelosi celebrated the possible deal on a commission in a statement.

Capitol rioters
The deal for a Capitol riot commission would create a 10-person body, half chosen by Democratic leaders, half by Republican leaders.
Getty Images

“On January 6, one of the darkest days in our history, our temple of democracy was attacked by insurrectionists. The gleeful desecration of our Capitol resulted in multiple deaths, physical harm to over 140 members of law enforcement and terror and trauma among staff, support workers and Members,” Pelosi said.

“It is imperative that we seek the truth of what happened on January 6 with an independent, bipartisan 9/11-type Commission to examine and report upon the facts, causes and security relating to the terrorist mob attack.”

About the author

Evan Lewis

With a knack for storytelling, Evan started News Brig about a year ago. Covering substantial topics under the Sports,, he helps information seep in deeper with creative writing and content management skills.

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