Republicans in the US Senate have blocked an independent investigation into January’s storming of the Capitol. The establishment of the Commission of Inquiry was supported by 54 of the 100 senators, including six members of former President Donald Trump’s Republican party.
Although a majority supported the creation of such a committee, it took 60 votes to get the proposal through the Senate, according to American media.
Republicans, however, voted against it en masse. Their group leader Mitch McConnell had argued that another investigation into the deadly riots would have little added value.
The vote took place in the parliament building that was the target of rioters on January 6. These were passionate supporters of President Donald Trump, who believed that fraud had occurred in the presidential elections. Wanting to disrupt the final approval of the election results, they invaded the Capitol. Politicians had to flee.
The proposal, which has now been rejected, provided for creating a ten-member committee of experts. It was modelled after the panel that previously investigated the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Democrats could have nominated five members, including the chairman. The Republicans were allowed to appoint the other five investigators.
The commission could also have sued people. According to The Washington Post, some Republicans feared Trump and his allies could be forced to make a statement under oath. Still, the plan was supported by dozens of Republican Party politicians in the House of Representatives, the US House of Representatives.
Opposition party leaders reportedly considered supporting such an investigation last week, The New York Times writes. According to the paper, they concluded that such an investigation could provide Democrats with political ammunition in the run-up to the 2022 elections. Also, the rather ever-influential Trump would probably have been furious about the creation of such a committee.