Washington, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Monday the creation of an independent commission that will examine the “facts and causes” of the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol.
In a letter directed to other Democratic lawmakers and released to the press, Pelosi explained that the commission will be similar to the one Congress created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“To protect our security, our security, our security, our next step will be to establish an outside, independent 9/11-type Commission,” Pelosi wrote, adding that the 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.”
The aim of this new commission will be to examine the “preparedness and response” of Capitol police, who found themselves outnumbered and overwhelmed by the huge and angry crowd who participated in the attack, as well as the reaction of other security forces on the federal, state and local levels.
The commission will be headed by Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who has already worked with Congress to determine what happened on Jan. 6 and is famous in the US for having reimposed order in the response of then-President George W. Bush’s administration to Hurricane Katrina.
On the basis of what Honore has already determined, Pelosi said that more funding will be needed so that the newly created commission may carry out its work.
The creation of this commission comes after on Saturday former President Donald Trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial in the US Senate, where lawmakers were acting as the jury in judging him on the impeachment article accusing him of “inciting to insurrection” for fomenting the Capitol attack.
Specifically, 57 senators (including seven Republicans) voted to convict the former president and 43 (all Republicans) voted to acquit him, but the balloting failed to meet or exceed the 67 votes needed to punish Trump, a result that right from the start seemed improbable given the manifest unwillingness of most GOP lawmakers to sanction him.
It was Trump’s second impeachment trial, having already been acquitted last February for attempting to exert pressure on Ukraine to investigate then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his family for corruption, for which no evidence existed.
A month after the attack, the Capitol remains surrounded by a high black barrier and access is restricted to reporters, lawmakers and their staff. The public, in other words, is being denied access to the halls of Congress, a situation that has aroused numerous complaints.
In addition, the Capitol remains guarded by some 5,000 National Guard reservists who are not scheduled to be removed from the area until mid-March.