35 Republicans buck Donald Trump; back study of Jan 6 Capitol riot

Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., questions witnesses during a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing on Capitol Hill Washington. Some House Republicans joined Democrats in voting to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack

Thirty-five House Republicans joined Democrats Wednesday in voting to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol, risking the wrath of former President Donald Trump and flouting GOP leaders who condemned the proposal as unfairly partisan and unneeded.

The Republican mavericks were led by New York Rep. John Katko, who wrote the measure with Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. Katko, that panel's top Republican, was battling two tides that have overwhelmed Congress in recent years: the nearly overwhelming potency Trump still has among Republicans and a jagged-edged partisanship that often confounds even mundane legislation.

"I encourage all members, Republicans and Democrats alike, to put down their swords for once, just for once, and support this bill," said Katko.

A moderate and a former prosecutor, Katko defended the proposed commission as a fair and needed step toward understanding the riot, how it happened and what security improvements the Capitol needs to prevent a future assault.

"This is about fact. It is not partisan politics," he said pointedly.

The 35 defectors represented a relatively modest but still significant proportion of House Republicans, of whom 175 opposed the legislation. Their defiance underscored the party's rift as some lawmakers supported an investigation of the shocking and violent Capitol attack while leaders tried to avoid enraging the former president, whose support they believe they'll need to win House control in the 2022 elections.

The Democratic-run House approved the measure 252-175 and sent it to the Senate, where Democrats face an uphill fight to garner at least 10 Republican "yes" votes they will need to prevail.

Three Republicans spoke in favour of the legislation: Katko and Fred Upton and Peter Meijer of Michigan. All were among the 10 who'd voted days after the attack to impeach Trump for encouraging his supporters to attack the Capitol. Trump was later acquitted by the Senate.

If not for resistance by the Capitol Police, Who knows how many of our heads would have been swinging on those gallows that members of the mob erected outside the building, Upton said.

Meijer, a freshman, took what seemed veiled shots at Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and some of his GOP colleagues.

Without mentioning names, Meijer said the attack occurred "with the encouragement of prominent elected officials." He said some who initially criticized the attack "have walked back their words or softened their speech."

Meijer added, "More troubling, there has been an active effort to whitewash and rewrite the shameful events of that day to avoid accountability."

Days after the Capitol attack, McCarthy said Trump "bears responsibility" for the rioters' assault. But he opposed impeachment, eased his criticisms of Trump and opposed creation of the commission. Other Republicans have downplayed the attack, with one comparing the rioters to tourists.

The most prominent of Trump's GOP critics in the House, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, did not speak. Her colleagues dumped her from a House Republican leadership position last week for repeatedly criticizing Trump for his role in the Capitol attack and his false claims that he lost the election because of widespread voting fraud.

The measure would create a 10-member commission with five members appointed by each party to investigate the Capitol riot.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel