House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning to form a “select committee” to investigate the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol Building that is similar to a panel that examined the Sept. 11., 2001 terrorist attacks, according to multiple reports.
CNN’s Manu Raju was the first to report the development Tuesday evening, though Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, took to Twitter to say that the speaker would merely be announcing her decision on the creation of a 1/6 Committee.
“Clarification on tonight’s meeting of the Steering and Policy Committee. Speaker Pelosi told Members she plans to announce WHETHER she will create a select committee THIS WEEK. Her preference continues to be a bipartisan commission which Senate Republicans are blocking,” Hammill wrote.
But later in the evening, CNN host Anderson Cooper reported that two sources confirmed that Pelosi’s intent is to form the committee, with or without GOP backing.
“Pelosi made the announcement at a private leadership meeting and did not give additional details. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private remarks,” The Washington Times reported.
The speaker reportedly made the announcement to members of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
However, The Hill quoted Pelosi saying later that the report is false.
“No, I did not make that announcement,” Pelosi said as she stepped out of her office at the Capitol. “Somebody put out a false report.”
Last month, 35 Republicans joined all Democrats in the House in voting to support the formation of a 1/6 Committee. But in the Senate, Republicans rallied to defeat the measure, which fell three votes short of passage. The proposal would have established a bipartisan panel to look into the origins of the protest and breach of the Capitol Building, but some Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said it would have devolved into a partisan witch hunt aimed at discrediting former President Donald Trump and his supporters.
“There is, has been, and there will continue to be, no shortage of robust investigations by two separate branches of the federal government,” McConnell said last month. “It’s not at all clear what new facts our additional investigation, yet another commission, could actually lay on top of existing efforts by law enforcement and Congress.”
Democrats pounced on Republican opposition, however.
“There is no excuse for any Republican to vote against this commission since Democrats have agreed to everything they asked for,” said Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. “McConnell has made this his political position, thinking it will help his 2022 elections. They do not believe in the truth will set you free, so they continue to live in fear.”
“If our Republican friends vote against this, I would ask them, ‘what are you afraid of? The truth?’,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer noted just ahead of the vote. “Are you afraid that Donald Trump’s big lie will be dispelled? Are you afraid that all of the misinformation that poured out will be rebutted by a bipartisan, down-the-middle commission?”
Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins is working with Manchin to get enough GOP support to move forward with a panel.
“I want to see a commission,” she told reporters in May. “I am working very hard to secure Republican votes.”
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