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Pelosi takes first step to create select committee on Jan. 6 Capitol riot

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a resolution Monday to establish a select committee to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

The resolution, which is expected to pass along party lines this week, comes in the wake of the Senate blocking a bipartisan commission to probe the matter last month.

“The Speaker shall appoint 13 Members to the Select Committee, 5 of whom shall be appointed after consultation with the minority leader,” the resolution said. “The Speaker shall designate one Member to serve as chair of the Select Committee. Any vacancy in the Select Committee shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.”

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a resolution to establish a select committee to investigate the Capitol Riot.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

“The Speaker is seriously considering including a Republican among her eight appointments to the Select Committee,” a Pelosi aide told reporters on Monday.

Pelosi told reporters last week that she would have preferred a bipartisan commission, but felt it was necessary to forge ahead with her own plan following last month’s Senate vote.

The House passed an agreement struck between Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY) by a 252-175 vote in May, with 35 Republicans joining Democrats in supporting the measure. However, the bill fell six votes short of overcoming the Senate’s 60-vote legislative filibuster, despite support from Republicans Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.

a violent mob of Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington
A violent mob of Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021.
AP Photo/John Minchillo File

The bill that died in the Senate last May would have allowed each party to select five people with expertise in national security and law enforcement to examine the security failures that led to the breach.

It is unclear whether the House GOP will take part in the committee. Top Republicans have accused Democrats of politicizing the attack, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R- Calif.) having come out against both the bipartisan agreement and the select panel.

“When it comes to what happened on Jan. 6, we want to get to the bottom of that. It’s disgusting what transpired that day,” McCarthy told reporters last week. “Unfortunately, the speaker has always played politics with this. Time and again. She’s never once talked to me about it.”

Demonstrators attempt to breach the U.S. Capitol after they earlier stormed the building in Washington, DC, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Demonstrators attempt to breach the U.S. Capitol after they earlier stormed the building in Washington, DC on Jan. 6, 2021.
Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Democrats have discussed the possibility of calling McCarthy to testify before the committee about his conversation with Trump on the day of the attack. Rep. Jamie Herrera Buetler (R-Wash.) has gone on record to claim that the former president told McCarthy: “Well Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you.”

Pelosi declined to weigh in on whether she believes McCarthy should testify, telling reporters on Friday it will be up to the committee to decide which witnesses they will call.

Ten House Republicans joined all House Democrats in voting to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the attack, when pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol in an attempt to derail the certification of the 2020 presidential election result. The riot led to the deaths of five people, including US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

Demonstrators enter the U.S. Capitol after breaching security fencing during a protest in Washington, DC on Jan. 6, 2021.
Demonstrators enter the U.S. Capitol after breaching security fencing during a protest in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
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