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Six GOP senators voted with Democrats on Friday in favor of launching a commission to ostensibly investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
And not surprisingly, the list of senators who voted for the commission was almost identical to the list of senators who in February, voted to convict former President Donald Trump on a dubious charge of incitement.
The six were Sens. Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Bill Cassidy and Rob Portman. Of the six, only one of them, Portman, didn’t vote to convict Trump in February. The other five all did, as did Sens. Richard Burr and Pat Toomey.
Despite the defection by six senators, the commission bill failed to pass thanks to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s first post-2020 election use of the filibuster.
#BREAKING: 54-35, Senate Republicans block effort to open debate on bill to create an outside commission to probe Jan. 6 attack. The vote marks their first successful legislative filibuster this Congress. House Dems are now considering opening a Dem-led probe into the attack
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 28, 2021
As noted in the tweet above by CNN’s Manu Raju, Democrats are now considering launching a congressional probe into the matter.
Meanwhile, the six ostensibly Republican senators who voted with Democrats will need to explain to their base why they voted against the base’s wishes.
A Harvard CAPS/Harris poll published by The Hill earlier this week found that only 38 percent of Republicans supported the launch of a commission.
Below are statements made by each senator prior to their vote Friday:
“I think the attack on the building was a very severe attack on democracy and is having shockwaves around the world and will change the trajectory in the world with regards to authoritarianism versus democracy,” he said to reporters, according to The Hill.
Yet he’s voiced no such thoughts about the devastating, deadly Black Lives Matter riots that erupted throughout the country last year. If anything, he decided last year to, instead, march side by side with the BLM extremists:
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 8, 2020
“I think that, if done right, a truly bipartisan commission could complement the work being done in the ongoing criminal investigations. The American people deserve a full account of what happened,” he reportedly said in a statement.
“I strongly support the creation of an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to examine the events leading up to the January 6th attack, to investigate exactly what occurred in the storming of the Capitol, and to provide recommendations on how we can ensure that such a breach never happens again, while keeping this symbol of our democracy open and accessible,” she said in her own statement.
In a statement to reporters, the Alaska congresswoman slammed her peers — the ones against a commission — for having warned that the creation of a commission would make it easier for Democrats to use the one-time riot to campaign for 2022.
“To be making a decision for the short-term political gain at the expense of understanding and acknowledging what was in front of us on January 6, I think we need to look at that critically,” she reportedly said.
The Louisiana senator made the case in his own statement that an investigation would happen no matter what, so Republicans might as well participate in it.
“Without this commission, there will still be an investigation. But it will be a House select-committee set up by Speaker Pelosi – the nature of which will be entirely dictated by Democrats and would stretch on for years,” he said.
“I am concerned about Speaker Pelosi’s role regarding the lack of adequate security at the Capitol on the day of the vote certification. It’s hard to believe that an investigation entirely run by Democrats would fully evaluate this concern. We can be more confident that the independent commission would thoroughly investigate this issue,” he added.
“The January 6 attack on the Capitol was an attack on democracy itself. To keep it from happening again, a fair and objective investigation into what led to the attack, the lack of preparedness at the Capitol, and the slow response on that day are needed,” he said in a statement to the media, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
It’s not clear whether any of these six senators ever took the time to consider all the counter-arguments against the launch of a commission.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson laid out one of these arguments last week: an unequal application of justice.
“In a civilized country you have equal justice, you punish people equally for the same crime. That’s the opposite of what we are seeing now,” he said.
As an example, he pointed to how Democrats had rushed to defend Black Lives Matter and Antifa extremists amid the devastating riots of 2020, despite these riots having led to hundreds of law enforcement officers being injured, hundreds of buildings being vandalized/burnt and dozens of people being killed.
“When the last administration sent federal agents to stop [the extremists], Nancy Pelosi said it was a violation of their ‘dignity and First Amendment rights.’ Chuck Schumer called it ‘despicable,'” Carlson correctly noted.
And then when Republicans demanded that Democrats allow the BLM/Antifa extremists to also be investigated by their desired commission, they refused …
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