Pelosi bill for Jan. 6 riot commission could come this week

Billy House

The Sept. 11-style commission House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has demanded to investigate last month’s Capitol insurrection could begin to take shape with a bill introduction as soon as Friday, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Pelosi has said the panel would be modeled on the bipartisan commission that probed the origins of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. and the security failings that preceded it. While Republicans have also joined calls for an independent panel, some of them have said the commission should focus on the actions of congressional leadership, including Pelosi.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., with impeachment managers Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., and Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., speaks to members of the media during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday/

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Democrats have stepped up their calls for a more complete accounting of the events leading up to and during the Jan. 6 attack when Donald Trumps supporters stormed the Capitol, interrupting a joint session of Congress. The Senate last week acquitted the former president of the House’s charge that he incited the insurrection, and the trial’s impeachment managers backed off efforts to call witnesses.

Pelosi told House colleagues in a letter this week that such commission would look into the “interference with the peaceful transfer of power, including facts and causes relating to the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement in the National Capitol Region.”

Details about the commission that haven’t been publicly announced include how many people will participate and how they’ll be selected, as well as the parameters of the panel’s focus, the extent of its investigative powers and the budget for staff and other costs.

The original commission that looked into the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks lasted for about 20 months, had subpoena powers, conducted witness interviews and held public hearings. That panel consisted of five Democrats and five Republicans, and its budget by its conclusion had reached about $15 million.

Republicans on the House Administration Committee already introduced their own legislation for an independent bipartisan commission to investigate what they called a “domestic terrorist attack.”

Some of Trump’s allies in Congress have said the focus should be on Pelosi’s actions before the riot, alleging that she bears some responsibility for failing to secure the Capitol.