Opinion: GOP opposition made Jan. 6 probe more potent

Six months have passed since supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, and scars can still be detected from the riot. (Lev Radin/Pacific Press via ZUMA Wire/TNS)
Caption
Six months have passed since supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, and scars can still be detected from the riot. (Lev Radin/Pacific Press via ZUMA Wire/TNS)

Credit: TNS

This week marked six months since the attack by supporters of then-President Donald Trump on the U.S. Capitol. The scars are nowhere near being healed. That’s especially true for police officers, Capitol Hill workers and many members of Congress.

Jan. 6 was the third day in office for newcomers such as U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Suwanee.

“I spent it barricaded in my office,” Bourdeaux said Tuesday.

Instead of the pomp and circumstance associated with the counting of electoral votes from 2020, the day was dominated by rioters storming the Capitol, smashing windows and doors to get inside, and injuring nearly 150 police officers in violent attacks.

Many in the crowd that day were wrongly convinced that Donald Trump had been cheated out of an election victory — and this week, that was still being pushed by some GOP lawmakers.

“I will say it over and over again, Georgia reelected President Trump,” said U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, still pressing the false fraud claims.

Hindsight is always 20-20, but the decision by GOP lawmakers to first oppose the creation of an independent 9/11-type commission to probe the Capitol attack, and then to oppose a select committee, tilted the probe away from Republicans.

“I am disappointed that my Republican colleagues wouldn’t join us in investigating the insurrection,” Bourdeaux said.

A 9/11-type commission would have been equally divided between the two parties. Instead, Democrats will now have a majority on the House investigative panel appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

A 9/11-type commission would have shared subpoena power and staff between the parties. But now, Democrats will have unilateral subpoena power, with no GOP input.

A 9/11-type commission would have finished work by the end of 2021. Instead, this “select committee” will have no time limit, and its work will likely flow into the midterm elections in 2022.

It was impossible to ignore the Capitol attack while watching the Independence Day festivities this week, as I was struck by one very visible mark from the riot.

Most people probably missed it. But to me, it stuck out like a sore thumb.

Normally on July Fourth, the U.S. Capitol grounds are teeming with people, both to watch the fireworks and to hear the musical acts of ”A Capitol Fourth,” broadcast nationally by PBS.

But the TV pictures this year from Washington showed a brilliant swath of green grass around the Capitol — with all the Independence Day revelers kept out by high fencing put in place after the Jan. 6 attack.

Hopefully July 4, 2022, will be back to normal at the U.S. Capitol. But the Capitol attack investigation might not be finished.

And the scars from that day most certainly will not have healed, either.

Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and the Congress from Washington since the Reagan administration. His column appears weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com.