Calls Grow for Commission to Investigate Capitol Riot

click to enlarge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), alongside House impeachment managers, speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, after the conclusion of former President Donald Trump's second Senate impeachment trial. Following the acquittal of former President Donald Trump, there are growing calls among lawmakers for a bipartisan commission to investigate the administrative and law enforcement failures that failed to stop the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill and recommend changes for how to prevent another siege. - ALYSSA SCHUKAR/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Alyssa Schukar/The New York Times
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), alongside House impeachment managers, speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, after the conclusion of former President Donald Trump's second Senate impeachment trial. Following the acquittal of former President Donald Trump, there are growing calls among lawmakers for a bipartisan commission to investigate the administrative and law enforcement failures that failed to stop the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill and recommend changes for how to prevent another siege.

By Emily Cochrane
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers fresh off the impeachment acquittal of former President Donald Trump are issuing growing calls for a bipartisan commission to investigate the administrative and law enforcement failures that led to the mob attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 and recommend changes to prevent another siege.

Such a commission appears to be the primary remaining option for Congress to try to hold Trump to account for his role in the assault. Top lawmakers have quashed the idea of a post-impeachment censure of the former president, and the possibility of barring him from future office under the 14th Amendment, which prohibits any official involved in “insurrection or rebellion” from holding office, seems remote.


Lawmakers in both parties have called for a commission modeled on the panel established after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., described it on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday as “an impartial commission, not guided by politics.”

President George W. Bush signed a law establishing the 9/11 Commission in 2002, mandated to investigate what caused the attack and what might have stopped it, and to outline how to prevent a similar attack. After a 20-month investigation, the commission offered three dozen recommendations for how to reshape intelligence coordination and congressional oversight.

“We need a 9/11 Commission to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again, and I want to make sure that the Capitol footprint can be better defended next time,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on “Fox News Sunday.”

In the House, rank-and-file lawmakers in both parties have introduced legislation that would establish a commission, with some Democrats proposing a broader examination of domestic terrorism and violent extremism.


“We will have an after-action review,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California told reporters late last month. “There will be a commission.”

Democrats framed a possible commission Sunday as a way to underscore Trump’s role in the events.

“There’s still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear,” Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said on “This Week,” adding that a commission would “lay bare the record of just how responsible” Trump was for the attack.

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