Republicans’ efforts to defend Donald Trump in the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection have started diminishing.
The House of Representatives has finally voted, mostly along the party lines, i.e., 222-190, in favor of creating a select committee to investigate the Capitol Hill riots.
Bennie Thompson, a House Democrat, will lead the select committee to find the truth behind the Capitol riots.
This came as a shock to many Republicans, who voted against making a bipartisan commission in both the House and Senate.
With this, the investigation against the former president will kick off soon, with Rep. Liz Cheney included in the committee.
Liz Cheney was one of the Republican representatives who voted in favor of a commission in the initial effort against Trump, which was sabotaged by Senate Republicans afterward.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited the police officers of Capitol Hill for their input in the make-up of the committee.
How effective will the committee be, and what is its mandate? Let’s see.
Curbing the Hate Speech Online and Investigating Intelligence: The Most Important Things for the Committee to do
The next step for us has always been to seek and find the truth. We want to do so in the most patriotic and nonpartisan way, so the American people have confidence in the results.
This select committee is yet another try to make a bipartisan team, as almost six out of thirteen total members are supposed to be Republicans.
The speaker has already nominated seven members from Democratic ranks, while only Liz Cheney has been chosen from Republicans yet.
The rest of the Republicans are supposed to be nominated by Speaker Pelosi after consultation with the House minority leader Kevin McCarthy.
Despite the fact that almost 35 House Republicans supported the formation of a commission, only two of them supported the committee at this time, signifying increasing pro-Trump sentiments in the Republican ranks.
The January 6 select committee is mandated for a variety of purposes. First, it is assigned to study intelligence before the attack to understand how it failed to predict the attack.
Second, the committee is supposed to study the usage of online platforms, especially social media, for the organization of the attacks.
It means that the committee’s findings can trigger another debate regarding Section 230 of social media giants, which grants them immunity from being sued due to the presence of hate speech on their platforms.
January 6 Select Committee: A Road Map to Another Police Reforms Debate
The January 6 select committee is also entitled to study the Capitol Police and the policies that prevented them from reacting to the attacks in a timely manner.
The Capitol Police is not the only vulnerable unit to an inquiry from this select committee. In fact, the proposed committee will also study the National Guard and other agencies that were supposed to safeguard Capitol Hill but failed to do so.
This will make the police reforms debate relevant once again. Were the police not properly equipped, or was the lack of training of the police force helping to sustain the attack? Only the report can tell the truth.
However, the inept training of police officers could be one of the contributing factors in bundling the crisis. So, the responsibility will lie on the shoulders of Biden to take the appropriate steps for reforming police once the committee discloses the report.
Then came the obvious role that the January 6 select committee is supposed to play, i.e., making recommendations on preventing further episodes of such attacks in the Capitol, which could possibly result in the administration increasing manpower and the administrative facilities within the troubled region.
While the Department of Justice is already prosecuting almost 500 people for their alleged participation in the melee, this committee can push more people into chaos.
Republican Concerns: Nonsense at its Best
The concerns of Republicans about the formation of the committee also make no sense. Most of them are arguing along the lines saying that the January 6 select committee is heavily partisan, ignoring the fact that almost six members of the committee belong to Republicans.
Republicans will have the last chance of nominating the members of their choice once the House Speaker contacts the Minority Leader.
However, if they try to sabotage the process once again, the speaker can try to include the nonpartisan members in the team.
But the process must continue, and this time neither President Biden nor the House Democrats should seek Republicans’ unity at all.
Once the report comes in, the future course of action can be crafted. However, a previous Senate report has already recommended an action plan mentioning the lack of intelligence before the January 6 insurrection.
The Biden administration should also look at those recommendations before mandating this committee with new work.
This way, the January 6 select committee can start working where the Senate report stopped. Otherwise, the progress shown by the Senate report will result in redundancy.