WASHINGTON – Lawmakers fresh out of the acquittal of the impeachment of former President Donald J. Trump are making mounting calls for the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the administrative and repressive failures that led to the mob attack on the Capitol on January 6 and recommend changes to prevent another siege.
Such a commission appears to be the main option left for Congress to try to hold Mr. Trump accountable for his role in the aggression. Leading lawmakers have overturned the idea of post-impeachment censorship of the former president, and the possibility of barring him from future office under the 14th Amendment, which bars any official involved in “an insurgency or rebellion” to perform its duties, seems distant.
Lawmakers from both parties have called for a commission modeled on the bipartisan panel established after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Rep. Madeleine Dean, Pennsylvania Democrat and impeachment official, described it Sunday on ABC. ” This Week “as” an impartial commission, not guided by politics, filled with people who would resist the courage of their conviction.
President George W. Bush signed a law establishing the 9/11 Commission in 2002, mandated to investigate the causes of the attack and what could have stopped it, and to explain how to prevent a similar attack. After a 20-month investigation, the commission came up with three dozen recommendations on how to reshape congressional intelligence coordination and oversight.
“We need a commission on September 11 to find out what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again, and I want to make sure the Capitol footprint can be better defended next time around.” Said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. “Fox News Sunday.”
In the House, grassroots lawmakers from both parties introduced a bill that would create a commission, with some Democrats proposing a broader review of the federal government‘s response to domestic terrorism and violent extremism.
“We will have an after action review,” California President Nancy Pelosi told reporters late last month. “There will be a commission.” She has since been briefed on several occasions by retired General Russel L. Honoré, who has been tapped to review security at Capitol Hill, which remains surrounded by barbed wire fences and under surveillance by troops from the National Guard.
“In the near future, Congress must intelligently shift to a more sustainable security presence,” Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, said in late January. “Keeping the Capitol secure cannot and will not require large numbers of uniformed troops and extensive emergency fencing systems to stay in place forever.
Democrats, who abruptly abandoned what had been a successful witness request on the final day of the trial on Saturday, formulated a possible commission on Sunday to understand not only the failures that led to the Capitol violation, but also to underline Mr. Trump’s role in the events.
“There is even more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear,” said Sen. Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, on “This Week,” adding that a commission “would make sure we secure on Capitol Hill in the future and unveil Mr. Trump’s records of responsibility for the attack.
Prior to the impeachment proceedings, there had been discussions of a bipartisan censorship resolution in lieu of a trial. But lawmakers quickly abandoned the idea as the trial progressed, in part because Democrats had demanded stronger language than what Republicans were comfortable with. Asked about the chances of a resolution to bar Mr. Trump from running again, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Republican No.2, said, “I don’t think this is going to go anywhere.
“Each senator had the opportunity to express their point of view,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who participated in the discussions.
Ms Pelosi, at a press conference on Saturday, said such a resolution was “a slap in the face of the Constitution”.
“We censor people who use stationery for a bad purpose,” she said. “We don’t censor people for inciting an uprising that kills people on Capitol Hill.”