USA Today interviewed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to discuss, among other subjects, Congress’ plan to open an investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The Speaker discussed the state of negotiations between House members to initiate an investigation into the events of Jan. 6. Currently, they are at an impasse. Pelosi told USA Today that if they cannot come to an agreement, she would consider implementing a select committee of Congress, similar to the 9/11 commission.
This type of committee, Pelosi said, is “always an option. It’s not my preference in any way. My preference would be to have a commission.”
The Democrats have proposed a group that would include seven members from their caucus and only four Republicans. Naturally, House GOP members are unhappy with that idea.
Pelosi and other Democrats are also hoping to expand the scope of the probe beyond a review of what led to the riot. In February, The Hill reportedPelosi saying any investigation needs to answer questions “relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power, including facts and causes relating to the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement in the National Capitol Region.”
So, in addition to objecting to being offered just four seats at the table, compared to seven for the Democrats, Republicans believe that the proposed scope is too broad.
In a Feb. 24 speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pushed back against Pelosi’s plan. He said, “The Speaker of the House proposes even more investigation through a new commission. She cites the precedent of the 9/11 Commission. But her draft bill fails to track with that precedent in key ways. This time, Speaker Pelosi started by proposing a commission that would be partisan by design.”
The Hill spoke to Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia about the seven to four makeup of the proposed commission. He said they do not trust Republicans. The Congressman believes, “We do not owe delusional deniers a role or a platform in a commission designed to try to ferret out extremism and violence to prevent its recurrence. They’re denying that the Trump mob was the Trump mob.”
“These people are dangerous,” Connolly added.
Connolly’s remarks were aimed at Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin who said in March that he had not been frightened on Jan. 6, but he “may have been a little concerned” if the protestors were members of Black Lives Matter or Antifa.
Democrats immediately pounced on Johnson’s remarks saying they were racist.
In an interview on Fox News’ Primetime, Johnson defended his remarks. He said, “It’s completely been blown out of proportion. There’s nothing racial in my comments whatsoever. The left is happy to use the race card whenever they can. This is about riots and rioters and leftist activists and anarchists.”
Asked if she had been afraid that day, she laughed, pointed to her 4-inch stilettos, and said, “I would have had these. … Well, I’m pretty tough. I’m a street fighter. They would have had a battle on their hands.”
“I was never personally afraid because I had so much security for myself,” she replied. “I was afraid for everybody else, and I’ll never forgive them the trauma that they caused to the staff and the members.”
She added, “I do think it will have an impact on how people decide to come to work here or stay to work here and the rest.”