The Week (US)

1/6 commission: A needed reckoning?


America can’t move on from the “trauma” of the Capitol insurrecti­on “until the full story is told,” said The Boston Globe in an editorial. There’s only one way to achieve that: the “9/11-style commission” recently proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and backed by a growing group of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. In the wake of a “truncated impeachmen­t process,” many questions still loom about the attack. We must understand the security failures, whether members of Congress were “complicit” in providing help to the insurrecti­onists, why hours passed until the National Guard was summoned, and what President Trump was doing during this awful interval. A small, bipartisan commission that can subpoena witnesses will get us “to the bottom of what happened and why,” said Henry Olsen in The Washington Post. The search for truth will make some people “uncomforta­ble,” but “one of the most deplorable and shocking events in U.S. history” demands a reckoning.

Pelosi and the Democrats don’t want the truth, said the New York Post in an editorial. They want to “exploit that horrific day for pure partisan advantage,” bolstering conspiracy theories and painting Trump supporters and other conservati­ves as terrorists. Nor will Democrats be served by a prolonged investigat­ion, said Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. Let the Justice Department, local prosecutor­s, and civil lawsuits unravel what happened and assign responsibi­lity. Our nation faces a host of pressing challenges, including vaccinatin­g the population, rescuing the economy, fighting climate change, and adopting humane immigratio­n policies. “We must look to the future,” and not waste any more time and energy on the 45th president.

Is a 9/11-style investigat­ion “even possible in 2021?” asked Harold Meyerson in The American Prospect. The 9/11 commission succeeded because Republican­s and Democrats were united by a common foe. While a 1/6 commission has been embraced even by Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, “does anyone think that Pelosi and Graham have the same ideas” about how it will operate? What happens if Republican­s insist on putting “die-hard Trumpists” on the panel? Will Senate Republican­s allow damaging testimony about Trump’s refusal to call off the riot? Any effort to mount a truly credible, impartial investigat­ion will have to address such hard questions, and “bipartisan cred is hard to come by these days.”

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