Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Republicans today that he is opposed to an independent commission investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection as envisioned by the House.
This effectively kills the proposed bipartisan panel.
“It’s not at all clear what new facts or additional investigation yet another commission could lay on top of the existing efforts by law enforcement and Congress,” McConnell said.
The commission would be charged with looking at security and intelligence failures surrounding Jan. 6, when Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol in a riot that left five people dead.
The mob interrupted the formal congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the November election.
The Kentucky Republican’s stance suggests that legislation creating a bipartisan commission on the Capitol riot — a bill passed by the House today — is likely doomed to fall to a Senate filibuster if major changes aren’t made.
Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) had forged a deal with House Democrats to allow equal partisan representation on the 10-member commission and to give it subpoena power to focus on the events of Jan. 6.
Yet Republicans are now wrestling with how much more they want to litigate the presidency of Trump, whom McConnell no longer speaks to or talks about.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that regardless of McConnell’s stance, the Senate will vote on the commission bill.
The measure will need the support of 10 Senate Republicans to pass.
“The American people will see for themselves whether our Republican friends stand on the side of the truth or on the side of Donald Trump’s big lie,” Schumer said this morning.
A number of House and Senate Republicans have expressed support for the commission, but the weight of the party’s leaders is now beating back that sentiment.
Both Trump and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are opposed to the commission proposal, and McConnell’s opposition will further pressure rank-and-file Republicans to oppose it.
Trump also faces a new criminal investigation of his family company, the Trump Organization, by the New York attorney general’s office.
It is looking into whether the sprawling enterprise falsely reported property values to secure loans and win economic and tax benefits.