At Long Last There’s Bipartisan Agreement on Jan 6 Commission

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Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT / AFP

The Homeland Security Committee Chairman, Bennie Thompson (MS-02) announced today, Friday May 14, that he and ranking member John Katko (NY-24) have finally reached an agreement on the composition and focus of a Jan 6 commission.

The bipartisan agreement to introduce legislation to form an independent commission inevitably involved compromise on both sides. However, Democrats won the greater battle — to confine the investigation strictly to the events surrounding the Jan 6 insurrection and what led up to it.

Republicans in both the Senate and the House have loudly insisted there be a much broader scope that encompassed all protests, particularly those involving BLM and Antifa, an organisation that exists only in the minds of right-wing fabulists. But their motivation for demanding this expansion was exposed in spectacular fashion only the day before by Liz Cheney (R-WY) who was railroaded out of the House GOP leadership on Wednesday.

In an interview with Savannah Guthrie, Cheney explained,

“There is real concern among a number of members of my own party about a January 6th commission. That kind of intense, narrow focus threatens people in my party who may have been playing a role they should not have been playing.”

The Republican Accountability Project provided consummate corroboration for Cheney’s accusations by bracketing them around hotheaded rants that revealed the complicity of congressional GQPers who contributed to inciting the violence.

In another interview on Morning Joe, Rep Adam Kinzinger (IL-02) agreed with Liz Cheney regarding the need for the focus to be exclusively on the insurrection.

Republicans did manage to get equal representation on the proposed committee — a 5-5 split rather than the 7-4 split favoured by Speaker Pelosi.

Axios listed details of the proposed legislation, according to the House Homeland Security Committee:

  • Legislation will establish a 10-person commission with expertise in law enforcement and national security backgrounds. Five commissioners, including the chair, will be appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The other five, including the vice chair, will be appointed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • “The commission will be charged with studying the facts and circumstances of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as well as the influencing factors that may have provoked the attack on our democracy,” according to the committee.
  • “Commissioners must have significant expertise in the areas of law enforcement, civil rights, civil liberties, privacy, intelligence and cybersecurity. Current government officers or employees are prohibited from appointment.”
  • The commission will be granted authority to issue subpoenas, which will require agreement between the chair and the vice chair, or a vote by a majority of members.
  • The commission will be required to issue a final report with findings and recommendations to “prevent future attacks on our democratic institutions” by Dec. 31, 2021.

The Denver Channel added:

[Committee Chairman] Thompson says he and Katko will introduce the legislation Friday. The bill, called the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act, is expected to be considered in the House as soon as next week.

With the deadline for the Commission’s report set for December, Speaker Pelosi is determined to get the legislation moving as soon a possible. There’s no doubt now that it will pass the House with bipartisan support even though the Republicans voting for it may be less than a dozen.

But now all Republicans opposing the intense, narrow scope of the investigation have lost credibility since being outed publicly as the “panic pack” i.e. those running scared because of their own legal jeopardy. As Rep Adam Kinzinger said, “And if some of my colleagues get in trouble, they should have thought about that before they took part in the insurrection.”

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6 COMMENTS

    • Exactly. With traitors complicit in the whole thing picking the 5 republicans, you are a soothsayer. For the ones who keep saying the law will catch up with the true instigators, whadda think now?

  1. “Commissioners must have significant expertise in the areas of law enforcement, civil rights, civil liberties, privacy, intelligence and cybersecurity. Current government officers or employees are prohibited from appointment.”

    Where are “House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell” going to find any one person like that, much less five? They constantly reject the very notion of “expertise” as well as “civil rights, civil liberties [and] privacy” and they’ve shown in the past how little regard they hold for any type of “intelligence.” (Granted the type of “intelligence” they usually abhor involves the mental kind while the committee’s version refers to the gathering of information in the course of an investigation. But, as we all saw during the Trump impeachment proceedings, the GOPers weren’t the least bit interested in what the intel agencies were showing about Trump and his ties to Russia.)

  2. Note on the picture used: the guy in the blue coat is Jon Schafer, founder of metal band Iced Earth, age 52. Has had a number of back problems for 20 years, which is why he is pleading what he knows of his fellow Proud Boys.

  3. Here we go – GQP given power to block any subpoenas means NOTHING will get done except tax dollars wasted on a sham investigation stonewalled by repugs. How did we get to a place where idiots, grifters and seditionists have so much power over millions of Americans?

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