The plan to set up a special ten-member commission of inquiry approved by the House of Representatives in Friday’s procedural vote was supported by 54 of the 100 senators. Due to the rules of the Senate, 60 votes were needed for the discussion of the proposal to continue. Only six Republicans voted in favor of the resolution, five of whom backed Trump’s conviction in February after a constitutional lawsuit for “inciting rebellion.”
The aim of the bill was to create an expert group to which five members would be appointed by the leaders of the Democratic Party in Congress, the other half by Republican leaders. The Commission would address the “facts and circumstances” surrounding the January riots, in which four people died. One of the intervening police officers died a day later in hospital.
More than thirty Republican members in the House supported the establishment of the commission, but their leader Kevin McCarthy clearly opposed the proposal. In recent days, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear. He and many of his party colleagues portrayed the initiative as unnecessary and politicized. According to them, it could not bring any new facts.
“What are you afraid of? The truth?” Democrat Senate Leader Chuck Schumer responded to Republican reservations. According to Reuters, Republicans were concerned that the commission of inquiry, even during the campaign ahead of the upcoming congressional election, would divert attention to the violent actions of Trump’s supporters and the former president’s continuing efforts to falsely portray last year’s election as rigged. In contrast, some Republican congressmen have downplayed the January riots in recent weeks and made statements in defense of the participants.