Bennie Thompson (D-MS), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, questions witnesses during a hearing on "Global Threats to the Homeland" at the Rayburn House office building on Capitol Hill September 17, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
Key House members announced on Friday an agreement to form an independent commission to investigate the January 6 uprising in the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers seek to understand the shortcomings that allowed a pro-Trump mob to overrun the building.
The panel will investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack and the factors that led to it, according to Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., And Senior Member John Katko, RN.Y., who negotiated the deal Has .
The commission will consist of 10 members who cannot be current government officials. The majority of Democrats will elect five, including the chairman, and Republicans will elect five, including the vice chairman.
The group has subpoena powers and issues a report when the investigation is complete. The House is expected to vote on a draft law to set up the commission as early as next week.
"Inaction – or just moving on – is just not an option," Thompson said in a statement. "In creating this commission, we are taking responsibility for protecting the US Capitol."
In a separate statement, Katko said, "I believe we have a fair, solid bill that provides responses to the federal response and a willingness to ensure that something like this never happens again."
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Supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in January while lawmakers counted President Joe Biden's election victory. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died in the attack.
The mob entered the legislature after weeks of unsubstantiated claims made by the former president that widespread fraud cost them the president's race against Biden. The House indicted Trump during his final days in the White House for instigating a riot. The Senate acquitted him after he resigned from office.
Democrats and some Republicans have insisted that lawmakers better understand what led to the violent attempt to disrupt the transfer of power. They questioned how intelligence and security breaches allowed rioters to sing "Hang Mike Pence" and visit House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to find the best government officials in a matter of moments.
Many Republicans – some of whom voted not to count the certified state election results after Congress withdrew from the mob – have questioned the need for a commission to investigate the January 6 events. Most of the GOP have either tried to deviate from the government insurrection or downplay the attack.
Supporters of US President Donald Trump climb against a wall at the Capitol in Washington DC during a protest against the confirmation of the results of the 2020 presidential election by Congress on January 6, 2021.
Jim Urquhart | Reuters
Speaking to reporters on Friday morning, House Minority Chairman Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Called it "Very Concerning" that the panel should investigate Capitol security only in the context of January 6, and not Good Friday, when a man rammed a car into a checkpoint and killed a Capitol cop.
McCarthy said he hadn't read the announced agreement.
In a statement on Friday, Pelosi said: "It is imperative that we seek the truth about what happened on January 6th with an independent, bipartisan 9/11 commission to clarify the facts, causes and security to investigate and report on the terrorist mob attack. " The California Democrat reiterated that the House expects to move forward with a separate bill to provide additional funding for the security of the Capitol.
The commission's announcement comes days after House Republicans removed MP Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., From her leadership post when she pounded Trump for spreading conspiracy theories about the elections. Cheney, one of ten Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted in favor of the former president's indictment, with McCarthy broke off support for a commission that was supposed to focus only on the January 6 uprising.
A hearing earlier this week also underscored the Republicans' efforts to minimize the attack on the Capitol. Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., Claimed it was not a riot but a "normal tourist visit".
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