Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and a number of House Democrats are plotting to put together a “select committee” in order to investigate the January 6th riots at the United States Capitol following a vote in the Senate that tanked Democrat hopes for a “January 6th Commission,” according to CNN.
On Saturday, Democrats failed to marshal enough votes to overcome a filibuster, losing in an effort to create a “9/11-style commission” to investigate the origins of and security failures during the January 6th incident. Republicans voted against the commission, largely because of concerns that the Democrat-drafted bill would create a partisan committee rather than ensure a neutral investigation.
Several competing bills, drafted by “moderates” and Republicans and designed to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the rally and subsequent attack on the Capitol, also failed. Nine Republicans and two Democrats did not vote.
On Sunday, CNN noted that Pelosi and other House Democrats, who backed the probe, are now considering a new plan: forming a “select commission” in the House to investigate the riots, without a bipartisan consensus.
“House Democrats are actively considering mounting a probe of their own into the January 6 US Capitol attack, signaling they don’t plan to let the issue go away,” the outlet reported. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made clear repeatedly that moving to create a select committee has always remained a fallback option — something that would require the support of a majority of the Democratic-led House to create. And a number of Democrats said on Friday that they believe Pelosi will indeed create the new committee — and that the caucus would strongly support such an effort.”
The effort would likely carry less weight than an official January 6th commission, given that it would be a largely partisan effort. A “select committee,” however, would still give Democrats the ability to issue subpoenas and take testimony on the matter under oath.
“Pelosi’s office would not discuss her plans, but the California Democrat has repeatedly indicated her preference would be to create a bipartisan outside commission and that a select committee remained a clear option on the table,” CNN said. “Doing so might create a turf war with existing House committee chairs, but Democratic lawmakers on Friday downplayed that likelihood given the desire among their caucus to mount a sprawling investigation into what happened.”
Pelosi herself issued a statement underscoring her intentions on Friday, telling media that House Democrats would honor their “responsibility to the Congress in which we serve and the Country which we love,” and that “Democrats will proceed to find the truth.”
Any fully Democratic effort would also likely focus on both former President Donald Trump and House and Senate Republicans who signaled support for efforts to investigate vote fraud or who voted against certifying state electors, even if Democrats have, in the past, also voted against certifying Electoral College results from certain states in contested elections that went against their own party.