Washington (AP) – Overshadowed by violent disputes between Republicans and Democrats, the Commission of Inquiry to process the January 6 attack on the US Capitol is beginning its work.
Police and Capitol representatives in the capital Washington are heard at the first hearing. Earlier, the body dispute escalated between Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and the highest-ranking Republican in the House of Congress Kevin McCarthy.
Party political disputes
The committee must investigate the background of the attack. Supporters of then-US President Donald Trump stormed the seat of the US Congress in Washington on January 6. Five people were killed, including a police officer. Trump had to face impeachment proceedings because of the attack because he had previously incited his supporters in a speech. However, at the end of the trial, the Republican was acquitted.
The establishment of a commission of inquiry into the events was the subject of heated party political disputes. In May, Republicans in the Senate prevented the creation of an independent commission of inquiry into the attack. The Democrats then decided to install a body in the House of Representatives under their own power, where they have a majority.
Cheney as a red rag
Pelosi angered Republicans a few weeks ago by appointing Republican and proven Trump critic Liz Cheney to the investigative body. Under pressure from Trump, Cheney was voted out of a leadership position in her parliamentary faction in mid-May. McCarthy reacted “shocked” to Pelosi’s decision to bring Cheney – as a member of the other faction – to the committee. He left open whether members of his group other than Cheney would become involved with the body.
McCarthy proposed five Republican MPs last week. However, Pelosi turned down two: MPs Jim Banks and Jim Jordan. They are considered particularly ardent Trump supporters. Pelosi justified her decision by saying she saw the commission’s integrity in jeopardy. “The unprecedented nature of January 6 calls for this unprecedented decision,” she said.
Two Republicans, seven Democrats
McCarthy reacted angrily again, threatening to boycott the committee and revoke all five names of his group colleagues. He accused Pelosi of “abuse of power” and “political play”. In return, they nominated another Republican Trump critic: MP Adam Kinzinger.
So now there are only two Republicans and seven Democrats on the committee. “The Republicans may not be able to handle the truth, but we have a responsibility to seek and find it in a way that maintains the trust of the American people,” Pelosi said. Critical voices fear, however, that the committee in its current form will do little to uncover the truth and has instead become a stage of political struggle.
Biden defends Pelosi
US President Joe Biden backed Pelosi. He is pursuing the same goal as Pelosi — “to get to the bottom of what is happening and to prevent something like this from happening in the future,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday. “And he relies on her guidance to do just that.” Biden had emphasized in a televised question-and-answer session with citizens last week that he believed in cooperation between Republicans and Democrats in Congress.