Pelosi announces creation of new committee to probe Jan. 6 attack on U.S. Capitol

FILE PHOTO: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Police release tear gas into a crowd of pro-Trump protesters during clashes at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday there will be a new House committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, after Senate Republicans in May blocked the creation of an independent commission to probe the assault.

Speaking at a news conference, Pelosi, a Democrat, declined to spell out a timeline for the panel to investigate, saying it will be “as long as it takes”. She gave no details of the make-up of the panel, but made clear both parties would be expected to name members, saying she hoped that House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy will appoint “responsible people” to the panel.

Pelosi said it would have been preferable to have an outside commission, and that she had not totally given up on that idea. The House passed legislation to set up an independent bipartisan commission, but Senate Republicans blocked it, saying existing committee probes as well as prosecutors’ investigations made it unnecessary.

“We see this as complementary, not instead of, and hopeful that there could be a commission at some point,” Pelosi said.

In an assault that stunned America, hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 in a failed attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory. The violence left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer. More than 480 people have been arrested on charges linked to the attack.

Trump, who left office later in January, has repeatedly falsely alleged that his electoral defeat in November was due to voter fraud, a claim dismissed by multiple courts, state election officials and his own administration’s review.

“The Capitol of the United States has always been a glorious beacon of democracy for the American people and the world,” Pelosi said. She said that the select committee will be “about seeking and finding the truth” about the events of Jan. 6.

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