Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats are seeking an independent commission to investigate both the riots and the events leading to the violence.
Congress is currently seeking to establish an independent commission to investigate the Capitol Hill riots, and former President Trump’s involvement in the violence. After Trump’s acquittal on Feb. 13th in his most recent impeachment hearing, Pelosi stated in an address to lawmakers that the commission would be modeled after the 9/11 inquiry.
Pelosi said the commission, “would investigate and report on the facts and causes” of the riots, as well as the ‘preparedness and response’ of local police and other law enforcement on the ground that day.”
Senator Lindsey Graham, typically a close ally of President Trump, told Fox News on Sunday that “We need a 9/11 commission to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again.”
Capitol security measures are currently being reviewed by retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré by direct request of Senator Pelosi, who stated in her letter last Monday that she believes finding the truth on what caused the coup is imperative.
Democratic Senator Chris Coons, an ally of President Biden, said the commission would serve as, “A way to make sure that we secure the Capitol going forward.” He added that he hopes a commission would set the record straight in holding the former president responsible.
Democrat prosecutors needed to secure a two-thirds majority in order to convict Trump and ended up losing the vote, most Senators largely stood by their respective parties. Seven Republicans and two independents joined the Democrats by voting to convict Trump, two of which were immediately censured in their home states— Bill Cassidy (LA) and Richard Burr (NC).
Pelosi blasted Senate Republicans who refused to convict former President Trump, stating to reporters, “What we saw in that Senate today was a cowardly group of Republicans who apparently have no options because they were afraid to defend their job, respect the institution in which they serve.”
Republican Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham agreed with Democrats that Trump’s actions were unethical, yet refused to vote to impeach him — causing backlash from house prosecutors who believed that the Republicans were “trying to have it both ways” by not convicting Trump.
McConnell, the Republican minority leader in Congress, declared former President Trump “responsible” for the Capitol Hill riots, but voted against convicting him on constitutional grounds.
“He didn’t get away with anything yet,” McConnell said in an address to the chamber. “There is no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events.”
Other Democrats were more outspoken about their feelings on the ruling. Democratic Delegate Stacey Plaskett, a House prosecutor who represents the Virgin Islands, called the verdict heartbreaking. “But, listen, we didn’t need more witnesses. We needed more senators with spines, said Plaskett.
The amendment includes a statement which would prevent any public official who previously “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding a political office for a second time. It is still unclear whether or not this aspect of the Amendment could legally be enforced, since Trump was deemed not guilty by the Senate. It seems that the future of former President Trump’s political career still hangs in the balance, but a 9/11 Commission will most likely lead to clearer answers.