While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cited precedent and prerogatives of current presidents to justify putting a majority of Democrats on a so-called “1/6” panel to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, others in her party have another reason why they don’t want to seat many Republicans.
Quite simply, some Democrats say, they don’t trust the post-Trump GOP to seriously probe the incident because they believe, without evidence thus far, that some Republican members were either in on it or responsible for it.
“We do not owe delusional deniers a role or a platform in a commission designed to try to ferret out extremism and violence to prevent its recurrence,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), according to The Hill. “These people are dangerous.”
Democrats remain angry at Republicans who they say falsely believe the 2020 election was stolen, some of whom also objected to electors of some battleground states where voting rules were changed ahead of Election Day in November without authorization from legislatures.
Democrats are also angry that, after rioters were cleared from the Capitol and a joint session of Congress met to count electors, 139 Republicans nevertheless objected to electors from Arizona, Pennsylvania, or both states — though members of their party have objected to electors the last two times a Republican president was elected in 2000 and 2004, and again in 2016.
Most Republicans have asserted that the riot was not the result of a spontaneous response to Trump’s speech earlier in the day on Jan. 6, but rather a preplanned attack by some radical elements in which a few hundred Trump supporters were caught up in at the moment.
Nevertheless, at The Hill reports, dozens of Democrats remain angry at Republicans over the riot in ways many never expressed last year when leftist anarchists were rioting in several major American cities, attacking federal property in Portland and Tacoma, and killing supporters of President Trump.
“Across the caucus, there are a lot of members — independent of ideology, from the most conservative Democrats to the most liberal Democrats — really asking ourselves: what does it mean when a member votes against the very election they were sent to Congress in? And what kinds of consequences should that have?” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said. “The ultimate goal is for there to be actual accountability.”
The anger is causing some Democratic House members to behave in irrational ways that have drawn warnings from others in their party. For instance, on Monday Rep. Sean Casten of Illinois tried to punish Republicans “by denying fast-track privileges for one such lawmaker seeking to rename a district post office — a routine process that typically proceeds without controversy,” The Hill reported.
But only 14 members joined Casten, with most other Democratic members warning of the “unintended consequences” of disrupting fast-track procedures.
As for Pelosi’s 1/6 panel, it is expected to be modeled after the “9/11 Commission,” which was hailed for its bipartisanship. But that was a different time under much different circumstances; while many Democrats have attempted to define the Capitol breach as an insurrection and domestic terrorism, most Republicans who have also denounced it described the attack as a riot not unlike those seen in cities last summer and fall.
Pelosi has proposed seating seven Democrats and only four Republicans, which the GOP has rejected.
“The only reason anything [is] not happening is because of the politics of Pelosi,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Pelosi’s GOP colleague from California, said Friday, The Hill reported.. “She wants it one-sided.”
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