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House votes to create committee to probe Jan. 6 Capitol riot

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The House of Representatives, voting largely along party lines, established a select committee to probe the Jan. 6 riot in the US Capitol in a 222-190 vote on Wednesday.

The move, which was backed by only two Republicans, comes as an alternative probe after the Senate blocked the creation of a bipartisan 9/11 style commission in the riots that broke out as Congress certified the results of the 2020 presidential election.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the committee, which doesn’t need the upper chamber’s approval, came because there was no longer a prospect of a commission.

“It is clear that Jan. 6th was not simply an attack on a building, but an attack on our very Democracy,” the California Democrat said in a letter to colleagues released before the vote.

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“It is imperative that we seek the truth of what happened.”

Pelosi bashed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, alleging he asked GOP lawmakers to “do him a personal favor” and vote down the commission.

“That is why the House will be establishing a Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol,” she said. “It will investigate and report upon the facts and causes of the attack. It will report on conclusions and recommendations for preventing any future assault. And it will find the truth.”

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The panel will include 13 members to be appointed by the House speaker. Five will be chosen with the input of House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The bill that would’ve established a commission received 35 Republican votes in the House. But it was knocked down in the upper chamber last month as the idea of an investigation took an increasingly partisan tone, with debate over whether former President Donald Trump had a role by ginning up supporters.

Supporters loyal to President Donald Trump clash with authorities before successfully breaching the Capitol building during a riot on the grounds, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.
Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger were the only two GOP members who backed the committee during the vote.
John Minchillo/AP

Trump was impeached, also largely along party lines, on a charge that he incited the riot but the Senate acquitted him earlier this year. Some House Republicans were attending an event with the former president near the Mexico-US border on Wednesday.

The only two House Republicans to support the committee in the vote were Rep. Liz Cheney (Wy.) and Adam Kinzinger (Il.), both of who have been critical of Trump.

Cheney, in a statement, called the siege “the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814.”

She said that on the day of the riot, most recognized “the gravity” of the situation.

“Since January 6th, the courage of my party’s leaders has faded,” Cheney said. “But the threat to our Republic has not,” she went on.

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“On an almost daily basis, Donald Trump repeats the same statements that provoked violence before. His attacks on our Constitution are accelerating. Our responsibility is to confront these threats, not appease and deflect.”

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