San Francisco Chronicle
GOP pushback on Pelosi’s plan for riot investigation
WASHINGTON — Republican leaders in the House and Senate say a proposed plan for an independent commission to study the Capitol insurrection is overly tilted toward Democrats, arguing that the panel should have an even party split like the one formed to study the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that a legitimate commission would be comprised of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. A draft proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would create an 11member commission with four Republicans and seven Democrats, three of whom would be chosen by President Biden, according to one of multiple aides who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the details.
Pelosi has not commented on the draft or said why there should be more Democratic members. Last week, she said the commission must be “strongly bipartisan” and have the power to subpoena witnesses. But on Wednesday, House Democratic Conference Chair Hakeem Jeffries said McCarthy hasn’t operated in good faith and “set a bad tone” when he supported former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn Biden’s legitimate election victory.
The partisan bickering before the commission gets off the ground is raising questions about whether lawmakers can coalesce around a thorough review of the Jan. 6 riot that interrupted the presidential electoral count and led to five deaths. Both parties support creating an independent investigation, but much of the consensus ends there, with Democrats demanding accountability for lawmakers who amplified Trump’s falsehoods about the election.
The vast majority of Republicans stood by Trump as Democrats impeached him for telling his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn his election defeat as Congress counted votes. And it is an open question whether the commission will be authorized to investigate Trump’s actions.
Republicans have suggested an evenly divided 10member panel and have also objected to some of the rationale for forming the commission. A second aide said that Pelosi’s proposal would give broad latitude to the commission to investigate what led to the effort to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power and that it quotes FBI and intelligence assessments that show some of the violence was motivated by racism and false narratives about the election.
Democrats now control both chambers, and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has said he also supports a commission.