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Bipartisan calls are growing for a 9/11-style commission into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as questions remain unanswered about the siege following former President Donald Trump’s acquittal in his impeachment trial.
In appearances on multiple Sunday shows over the weekend, Democratic and GOP lawmakers urged that there was still work to be done to understand the events that culminated in the riot.
Speaking to “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he hoped such a commission would help inform Congress and the American public about what caused the siege.
“I’d like to know, did the Capitol Hill police inform the House sergeant at arms and the Senate sergeant at arms the day before the attack that they needed more troops?” the South Carolina Senator told the network.
“We need a 9/11 commission to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again, and I want to make sure that the Capitol footprint can be better defended next time,” he continued, conceding that Trump’s “behavior after the election was over the top.”
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who unlike Graham voted to convict the former president, told ABC’s “This Week” that he felt more questions needed answering.
“I think there should be a complete investigation about what happened on Jan. 6. Why was there not more law enforcement, National Guard already mobilized, what was known, who knew it, and when they knew it, all that,” he said, “Because that builds the basis so this never happens again in the future.”
The two Senate Republicans were not the only members of the body to call for a commission.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told the same ABC program Sunday, “There’s still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear.”
Coons, who sits in President Biden’s former Senate seat, argued that a bipartisan commission would “make sure that we secure the Capitol going forward and lay bare the record of just how responsible” Trump is for the riot.
Still, the Democratic senator argued, Congress should be forward-looking and not get too tied up in a probe.
“I think there’s grounds for further proceedings, both civil and criminal against former President Trump. But George, I’m also focused on moving forward with delivering the urgent pandemic relief, the revitalization and strengthening of our economy that President Biden has been focused on since becoming president,” he said.
House impeachment manager Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) also appeared on the same ABC news program Sunday, where she joined her congressional colleagues in supporting a 9/11-style commission.
“Of course, there must be a full commission and impartial commission, not guided by politics, but filled with people who would stand up to the courage of their conviction, like Dr. Cassidy.”
Members of Congress were forced to evacuate in gas masks on Jan. 6, after a mob overpowered Capitol Police and breached the building.
A week later, Democrats filed a single article of impeachment, charging the president with “incitement of an insurrection.”
The House voted 232-197 to impeach the then-commander-in-chief one week to the day after the riot.
Over the weekend, the Senate voted 57-43 to acquit the former president, falling 10 votes short of the Constitution’s two-thirds requirement.
Currently, retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, is overseeing an immediate review of the riot.
Honoré was tapped by Pelosi last month to lead the effort in the weeks after the siege.
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