US House votes to investigate January attack on the Capitol

Move signals cracks in Republican Party’s defence of Donald Trump

Supporters of former US president Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on January 6th, 2021. File photograph: New York Times

Supporters of former US president Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on January 6th, 2021. File photograph: New York Times

 

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to create an independent commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the Capitol by supporters of former president Donald Trump, as a significant number of Republicans defied party leaders’ attempts to block it.

Over the past two days, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell worked to kill a bipartisan bill to establish the commission to investigate the violence that killed five people.

The House voted 252-175 to approve the commission, which was styled after the September 11th, 2001, panel that probed attacks on the United States. The bill now goes to the Senate where its future is unclear.

The solid number of Republicans voting for the independent investigation – 35 out of 211 – signalled some cracks in the party’s defence of Mr Trump on a key vote.

House majority leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat, said Mr McCarthy “got what he asked for” in a compromise on the structure of the commission, which would be charged with wrapping up its investigation by December 31st. He added: “Trump does not want this commission.”

Mr McCarthy is a close ally of Donald Trump. – Reuters