January 6th Hearing: Today, the House of Representatives select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot will hold its first hearing. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.
Top Story: January 6th Hearing
Today, the House of Representatives select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot will hold its first hearing—featuring four law enforcement officials who will help examine the events that unfolded over six months ago in DC. The formation of the select committee has been highly contentious. Last Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected Reps. Jim Jordan from Ohio and Jim Banks from Indiana, two vocal allies of former President Donald Trump, barring them from joining the committee due to past statements that she claims will hurt the “integrity of the investigation.” Pelosi’s decision prompted Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to yank his other three selections for the committee. Then on Sunday, Pelosi named Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, to serve on the committee along with Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Neither Kinzinger nor Cheney are big fans of former President Trump. Here’s what both sides are saying about the select committee and January 6 Capitol riot.
On The Right
Right-leaning commentators support an examination of the January 6th events. However, they believe it needs to be done in a bipartisan way so that a majority of the country trusts the findings. Instead, they view the current setup as a power-grab from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who they believe is injecting politics and partisanship into the panel.
“Pelosi’s Jan. 6 Commission” The Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal: “Mrs. Pelosi has already made clear what she thinks happened on Jan. 6. She said the committee’s job will be to explore the ‘root causes of [Jan. 6]—the white supremacy, the anti-Semitism, the Islamophobia, all the rest of it that was so evident.’ Nothing like prejudging. … Her real goal is to keep Jan. 6 alive in the public mind to use against Republicans to maintain control of the House in 2022. Democrats also hope the committee will divide Republicans. … Mrs. Pelosi can establish her House committee on a partisan vote without the Senate, but its partisan nature means it will be dismissed by half the country. That’s the price in lost credibility from two partisan impeachments and the FBI’s corrupt interference in the 2016 election. It’s a shame, but that’s the reality after years of Pelosi-Trump warfare.”
“Nancy Pelosi’s on her last legs” Miranda Devine, New York Post Opinion: “Pelosi is scared of Jordan and Banks, even though she has the majority. … She is afraid they will bring to the committee, on behalf of the American people it is supposed to represent, the very reasonable question about her own culpability in the events of Jan. 6. Most obviously, what was her reason for leaving the Capitol Police outnumbered and unprotected? Jordan and Banks wanted to ask why Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund’s request for the National Guard to buttress his troops was denied. Why were his repeated requests to the sergeant at arms — who answers directly to Pelosi — rebuffed? We’re talking about repeated requests, from two days before the riots to hours after the Capitol was breached. Why did she blame Sund and force him to resign hours after the riot, and then lie the next day when she said he hadn’t bothered phoning her? It stinks.”
“Anything-but-bipartisan 1/6 commission will seal Pelosi’s retirement. Here’s why” Joe Concha, The Hill: “President Biden and Pelosi have no interest in putting together a fair, balanced, truth-seeking commission here as it pertains to 1/6, which some Democrats have stunningly (and stupidly) argued was worse than 9/11. … Part of Pelosi’s plan to work with Republicans seems to be to reject those who would inquire about why she rejected pleas from Capitol Police to increase security ahead of Jan. 6. … If Cheney or Kinzinger are truly the patriots speaking truth to power that they claim to be, they should ask the same questions Banks intended to before being nixed by Pelosi. … In the end, Democrats know they’re in serious trouble. They see Biden polling at 38 percent on his handling of skyrocketing crime in this country … They see rising inflation and the cost of living as a tax on every American … if the two road-to-nowhere impeachments Pelosi’s presided over are any indication, this hyper-partisan commission will only make the blue team look more desperate.”
On The Left
Left-leaning commentators praise House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for what they view as a commitment to keep the commission in the middle. They support her decision to ban Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, who they think are servants to former President Donald Trump. With that said, similar to above, one author notes that a large portion of the country still won’t believe the findings based on the select committee’s current trajectory.
“Pelosi exploded the myth of bipartisanship” Nicole Hemmer, CNN Opinion: “Pelosi was right to reject Jordan and Banks, who, as blood was still drying on the floor of the Capitol, voted to give the insurrectionists what so many of them wanted. At a deeper level, Pelosi’s actions here also constitute a crucial development: the rejection of bipartisanship as a positive force in US politics. The select committee will still be bipartisan — GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump for fomenting the insurrection, will still serve on it — but the notion that Democratic leaders must work with Republican leaders in order to have political legitimacy is well and truly dead. As it should be. … The continued efforts by the GOP to prevent investigations into the insurrection only confirm that bipartisanship is a useless metric. … The point here is not that politics has changed so dramatically that bipartisanship no longer matters. … Pelosi has acknowledged that, and opened the door for a franker assessment of political goods and political harms.”
“Why America Isn’t Getting the Jan. 6 Investigation It Needs” Lisa Lerer, New York Times: “… it will be hard for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to persuade large parts of the country that her select committee is conducting a truthful and nonpartisan investigation into the Jan. 6 riot. Republicans in Congress can opt out of participating in a bipartisan investigation into one of the most shocking events in the history of American politics with little fear of backlash from their base. In fact, many of their voters don’t want to hear much about the Jan. 6 attack at all. … Ms. Pelosi can still argue that her panel is bipartisan. It will include … Cheney … and … Kinzinger. … Mr. McCarthy, meanwhile, has vowed to conduct his own investigation. So after months of negotiation, the end result is likely to be two panels, one led by Democrats and the other by Republicans. It’s a situation that encapsulates our divided political moment … A deeply fractured America may be getting the investigations into the Jan. 6 attack that it deserves. But they’re certainly not the ones the country needs.”
“Someone finally put their foot down” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi … decided she would not allow two obstreperous Republicans to throw the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection into chaos. … Finally, someone is willing to put their foot down. Someone is refusing to let Republicans make a mockery of the House, of the investigation into the insurrection and of an assault on the Constitution. Republicans can try that routine on right-wing media, but not on a committee designed to hold people — perhaps some GOP members — responsible for an unprecedented, violent insurrection sparked by the disgraced former president and others. Hopefully, the American people comprehend just how reckless, irresponsible, and wildly dishonest the MAGA Republicans are.”
Flag This: January 6th Hearing
Flag Polls: According to a Morning Consult poll from the end of June, “GOP voters are now more likely to blame President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress for the events that led to the Capitol attack than they are Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers,” Eli Yokley writes. Meanwhile, “the overall electorate has become more likely to say the Capitol rioters represent the Republican Party [and] 68% of GOP voters say ‘there has been too much focus on the January 6th events.’” Conversely, in another poll from CBS and YouGov two weeks ago, 72% of Americans said “there’s more to learn” about the January 6th attack on the Capitol.
Flag This: One extremely interesting subplot to follow is the FBI’s potential involvement in the January 6th Capitol riot. More specifically, did the FBI have informants and agents inside the groups that orchestrated the Capitol riot? Sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, we agree. However, this is an issue under examination by both sides. If you have time this week, we highly recommend two reads: one from the left titled, “Watching the Watchmen” by BuzzFeed reporters Ken Bensinger and Jessica Garrison, and another from the right-ish titled, “FBI Using the Same Fear Tactic From the First War on Terror: Orchestrating its Own Terrorism Plots” by Glenn Greenwald.
Flag Poll: January 6th Hearing
In regards to the January 6th attack on the Capitol, do you think there is more to learn or do you think we know all there is to know about the matter? Comment below to share your thoughts.