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Democrats Move Closer to Setting Up Jan. 6 Commission, With or Without G.O.P.

  • May 15, 2021

“An independent, bipartisan commission will remove politicization of the conversation and focus solely on the facts and circumstances surrounding the security breach at the Capitol, as well as other instances of violence relevant to such a review,” Mr. Katko said in a statement.

Mr. Katko is among the most moderate House Republicans and was one of 10 in his conference to vote to impeach Mr. Trump in January for inciting the insurrection. His position mirrored that of another of the 10, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who Republicans purged from their leadership ranks this week for her vocal repudiations of the former president’s election lies and her party’s complicity in them.

She said that Republicans did not want a narrow investigation into Jan. 6 because it “threatens people in my party who may have been playing a role they should not have been playing.”

“I am very glad that they rejected Leader McCarthy’s suggestions that somehow we should dilute the commission,” Ms. Cheney told ABC News on Friday, adding that Mr. McCarthy “absolutely should” testify before the body about a phone call he had with Mr. Trump as the attack was underway.

But the two Republicans appear to be in the minority. Many of the party’s loudest voices have undertaken a concerted campaign to downplay the Capitol riot and deflect attention from it by pointing to the unrelated actions of activists aligned with movements on the left.

Representative Louie Gohmert, Republican of Texas, offered the latest example on Friday, when he took to the House floor for an hourlong speech that argued that the rioters — who smashed windows, clubbed police officers and threatened to hang former Vice President Mike Pence that day — had essentially been peaceful.

Mr. Gohmert accused the Justice Department of abusing its power to harass and punish conservatives who had come to stage a nonviolent protest that day, while “going easy on the looters and destroyers in Portland.”

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