The Slatest

After Trump Acquittal, Calls Grow for 9/11-Style Commission on Capitol Riot

People storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C.
People storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Brent Stirton/Getty Images

After the Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, calls are increasing for the creation of an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, similar to the one that was launched after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. On Sunday, both Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, and Rep. Madeleine Dean, a House impeachment manager, expressed their support for the creation of an independent commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6.

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“For the first time in however many years, we had an insurrection incited by the president of the United States,” Dean said on ABC News’ This Week. “The House was desecrated, the Capitol was desecrated. People were terrorized. This was incited by the president of the United States. 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.”

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Also speaking on This Week, Coons said he agreed on the need for an independent commission. “There’s still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear and a 9/11 Commission is a way to make sure that we secure the Capitol going forward and that we lay bare the record of just how responsible and how abjectly violating of his constitutional oath President Trump really was,” Coons said.

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It wasn’t just Democrats who called for a deeper investigation. “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,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump supporter, said on Fox News Sunday. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, one of seven Republicans to vote to convict Trump, also said he would back the effort. “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, when they knew it? All that, because that builds the basis so this never happens again in the future,” Cassidy said. “I think that is also important, George, but that is different from allowing that to define the future of the Republican Party.”

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Shortly before the acquittal, two key voices also spoke up in favor of a full investigation, Tom Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, and Lee Hamilton, the former Democratic House member from Indiana. Kean and Hamilton, who headed the commission that was formed after the 2001 attacks, sent a letter to President Joe Biden, as well as leaders of both parties in Congress, calling for a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot. “The shocking and tragic assault of Jan. 6th on the U.S. Capitol requires thorough investigation, to ensure that the American people learn the truth of what happened that day,” Kean and Hamilton wrote. “An investigation should establish a single narrative and set of facts to identify how the Capitol was left vulnerable, as well as corrective actions to make the institution safe again.”

Earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had also expressed interest in creating a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riot. “It is also clear that we will need to establish a 9/11-type Commission to examine and report upon the facts, causes and security relating to the terrorist mob attack on January 6,” Pelosi wrote in a Feb. 2 letter to colleagues.

*This post has been updated with new information since it was first published.

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