House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday announced the creation of an independent commission to investigate and report on what led to the events of January 6, and what happened when rioters stormed the Capitol that day.
Bipartisan support emerged for such a commission during the second impeachment and Senate trial of Donald Trump, even if there weren't ten more senators with the conscience and cajones enough convict him. And in the image of the 9/11 Commission, this new commission will "investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021 domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex… and 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."
Pelosi said in a Presidents' Day letter to Democratic colleagues that retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré has spent the last few weeks examining the security needs of the Capitol, and these will also be immediately addressed through a spending bill.
"It is clear from his findings and from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened," Pelosi said. "As we prepare for the Commission, it is also clear from General Honoré’s interim reporting that we must put forth a supplemental appropriation to provide for the safety of Members and the security of the Capitol."
As the Associated Press reports, legislation will likely be required to create the commission. And while it may serve to reinforce the deep divisions already apparent in Congress and across the country, some Republicans support a continued effort to bring the public's attention to exactly what happened on January 6 and who should be held accountable.
"There should be a complete investigation about what happened,” said Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, one of the seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump. “What was known, who knew it and when they knew, all that, because that builds the basis so this never happens again."
Cassidy, who has already been censured by the Louisiana Republican Party for his vote, said that the more people see and hear the evidence, the "more folks will move to where I was."
Meanwhile, Senator Lindsey Graham went from sounding like he'd had enough of Trumpism and all the chaos it brings on the night of January 6, right back to being at Trump's beck and call this past week. Graham is reportedly flying to Mar a Lago soon to discuss "the future of the party" with the former president. And on Sunday he was back on Fox News crowing about what could happen if the Republicans take back control of the House in 2022.
Playing to the frightened and elderly white conservative audience of Fox News, Graham brought up a tweet from last June that conservative pundits love harping on in which then-Senator Kamala Harris voiced support for a bail fund for Black Lives Matter protesters, the Minnesota Freedom Fund. And he used this to talk about the "Pandora's Box" that's been opened by impeachment-happy Democrats, and the now popular talking point for Republicans desperate not to lose the support of Trump's base about how absurd it is to blame Trump for the riot at the Capitol.
"If you use this model, I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House, because she actually bailed out rioters," Graham said, per the Chronicle. "So we’ve opened Pandora’s Box here, and I’m sad for the country."
This is apparently the second (or third) time Graham has publicly brought up impeaching Harris — so clearly this is something Trump and his cronies want in the conversational mix on Fox News now that they have nothing to talk about.
And we all know that Trump or Putin likely has something they've been holding over old Lindsey's head for years now, because there's no more loyal footsoldier than the 65-year-old bachelor senator from Seneca, South Carolina. What could it be?
Top image: Nancy Pelosi at a press conference following the Senate's acquittal of Trump on Saturday. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images