GOP whitewashing of Capitol attack shows need for Jan 6 commission – fr

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GOP whitewashing of Capitol attack shows need for Jan 6 commission – fr


Sunday a second The House Republican suggested that if a Congressional committee examining the Jan.6 attack on the United States Capitol comes to fruition, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) could soon receive a subpoena.

Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) joined former Republican House conference chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), who was ousted from that post on Wednesday, in indicating that a subpoena could be on the table for McCarthy, telling CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union that “I would suspect Kevin would be subpoenaed.”

Cheney struck a similar note in a interview segment released Friday, telling ABC’s Jonathan Karl that McCarthy “absolutely should [testify] and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was subpoenaed.

“I think he said very clearly and publicly that he had information about the president’s state of mind that day,” Cheney said. “The elements of this commission are exactly as they should be.”

Upton and Cheney were both among 10 House Republicans who broke with McCarthy in January to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump in the wake of the Jan.6 Capitol uprising that left five people dead.

Since the attack, House members, who were forced to evacuate the chamber after it was stormed by pro-Trump insurgents, have debated the potential creation of a commission of inquiry independent, modeled after that formed after September 11, to investigate. the riot of January 6.

And as of Friday, when leaders of the House Homeland Security committee announced a bipartisan agreement on his formation, that commission seems closer than ever – much to McCarthy’s potential unease, if he were called to testify.

Specifically, if McCarthy testifies voluntarily or under subpoena in connection with the commission’s inquiry, he might be faced with the prospect of bridging the sizable rift between Trump – who has shown no inclination to give up his grip. on the Republican Party – and the truth of what happened on Capitol Hill on January 6.

As CNN and other outlets have previously reported – and impeachment representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) confirmed in a statement in February – McCarthy spoke to Trump as the riot was still going on and begged Trump to call his supporters.

According to Herrera Beutler, Trump “first repeated the lie that it was the antifa that raped the Capitol” during the call with McCarthy.

Subsequently, Herrera Beutler said in her February statement: “McCarthy refuted that and told the President that they were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset than you are about the election. “”

Other Republicans corroborated Trump’s state of mind as the attack unfolded. According to Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), “Donald Trump was walking around the White House and couldn’t understand why the other members of his team weren’t as excited as he was because you had rioters pushing against the police in the Capitol trying to enter the building. “

If McCarthy is called upon to substantiate Herrera Beutler’s account of McCarthy-Trump’s call for the commission, that would likely put McCarthy in an awkward political position as well.

That’s because McCarthy’s call with Trump – which allegedly took place as rioters tried to break through the windows of the Minority Leader’s office – is a reminder of the true gravity of the Jan.6 attack and the Trump’s support for the crowd, which he described as “very special” in a video later the same day. He is also increasingly out of step with a Republican conference eager to minimize the insurgency and a former president who is hypersensitive to criticism – and it’s hard to imagine McCarthy eager to give a true January 6 account to a potential commission.

The commission plan is not yet a sure thing

Despite Upton and Cheney’s comments, however, there is still a lot of “ifs” floating around any potential McCarthy testimony – like the commission itself. Although Friday’s deal between House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and leading member John Katko (R-NY), gives the committee at least a veneer of bipartisan system, the support that the proposal will find with the GOP leadership of the house is less clear. .

Katko, in particular, is an outlier – one of 10 House Republicans to support Trump’s impeachment – and his conference just purged the lone executive, Cheney, who also voted to impeach Trump for having incited to insurrection.

For now, McCarthy has yet to vote for or against the plan – tell reporters friday that he had not approved the deal and wants to see more details – but a vote on the measure could take place “as early as next week,” according to the statement released by Thompson.

“Inaction – or just moving on – just isn’t an option,” Thompson said Friday. “The creation of this commission is our way of taking responsibility for protecting the United States Capitol. … We owe it to the Capitol Police and all who enter our citadel of democracy to investigate the attack.

It is also questioned whether a subpoena of McCarthy could materialize even if the commission is established in its proposed form.

McCarthy will likely have a say in the selection of half the commission

According to the statement released by Thompson on Friday, the independent commission would be made up of a total of 10 members appointed by a bipartisan, bicameral leadership group – five by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), including chairman of the committee, and five by McCarthy himself and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), including a vice chairman.

None of these members can be a member of Congress or a current government employee, according to Thompson, and they must all have “significant expertise in the areas of law enforcement, civil rights, civil liberties, life. privacy, intelligence and cybersecurity ”.

But while the commission has subpoena power in its proposed form, issuing a subpoena would require at least limited bipartisan consensus – either an agreement between the chair and vice-chair or a simple majority vote. .

In other words, McCarthy will have a direct stake in choosing a sufficient number of commission members to block the subpoena process if they vote en bloc, which could make Upton and Cheney’s suggestion. that McCarthy be subpoenaed at best.

Republican conference tries to whitewash the insurgency

If the committee’s proposal, which calls for the publication of a final report and “recommendations to avoid future attacks on our democratic institutions” by the end of this calendar year, comes to fruition, it could be a valuable reminder. of what actually happened on January 6 – something some House Republicans seem increasingly unclear about.

In the past week alone, the GOP’s effort to whitewash the insurgency, which has injured 140 law enforcement officials, has shifted into high gear.

On Wednesday, for example, during a committee hearing on the attack, Representative Andrew Clyde (R-GA) said that “there has been no insurgency and call it an insurgency, to my mind. opinion, is a bold lie.

“Watching television footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion to stand between the candlesticks and ropes, taking videos and photos,” Clyde said. “You know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a Jan 6 video, you would actually think it was a normal sightseeing tour. “

Clyde isn’t alone – also this week Rep Louie Gohmert (R-TX) mentionned “There is no proof that it was an armed insurrection”, and the representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) described the insurgents as “peaceful patriots”.

Needless to say, the three statements (and there is many other in the same vein as this week) are downright bogus – and there is plenty of video evidence to prove it.

In addition to all the footage that has already emerged from the riot – much of which is graphic and disturbing – CNN obtained a new bodycam video this week showing DC Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone being attacked by mobs. .

According to CNN, Fanone has been “knocked out several times and beaten with a pole” by supporters of Trump. He also suffered a “mild” heart attack, according to the Washington Post, and at least one insurgent shouted that the mob should “kill [Fanone] with his own gun!

As the Washington Post editorial board argued on Friday, it is uncertain whether the 9/11 commission agreed upon by Thompson and Katko will prevent Republicans from publishing a bogus January 6 revisionist account.

“But,” writes the board, “like [the commission] answers outstanding questions about how the riot happened and who is responsible for it – in part, we hope, by taking sworn testimony from Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R- Calif.) And other eye-witness lawmakers – the panel should make it harder for Republicans to distort the truth.

Upton himself made the same argument: In the same CNN interview on Sunday, he told Bash that his colleagues’ claims that the attack was “peaceful” were “absolutely false.”

“I saw the gallows built on the eastern front of the Capitol”, Upton mentionned. “It was scary, what happened, absolutely scary. And that is why I think it is important that we move forward with this bipartite commission.



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