News & Politics

Biden Nixes Idea of a Presidential Commission on January 6th Riot

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Despite calls from some Democrats for Joe Biden to name a presidential commission on the January 6th riots, Biden is rejecting the idea, according to his press secretary Jen Psaki.

“As the president has said, the events of January 6th were an unprecedented assault on our democracy — and he believes they deserve a full, and independent, investigation to determine what transpired and ensure it can never happen again,” Psaki said in a statement.

“Congress was attacked on that day, and President Biden firmly agrees with Speaker Pelosi that Congress itself has a unique role and ability to carry out that investigation. Because of that, the president doesn’t plan to appoint his own commission.”

Indeed, a presidential commission would be defanged before it even sat. It wouldn’t have subpoena power — unless Congress authorized it. And Republicans will make sure that doesn’t happen.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has floated the idea of a House committee to investigate the event. It would almost certainly be a partisan circus as Republicans would refuse any invitations to sit on a committee.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear Republicans have moved on from the idea of an independent bipartisan commission, recently saying, “I think we will know everything we need to know — we were all witnesses. We were right there when it happened and I simply think the commission is not necessary.”

Biden has made clear his desire for a commission, according to sources familiar with his thinking, but has agreed it should not come from the executive branch.

No fewer than eight House and Senate committees have investigated or are investigating every aspect of the riot, its causes, and what security did or didn’t do. On top of those investigations, the Democrats wanted one grand inquisition to indict and convict Trump and the Republican Party before the 2022 election.

Two Senate committees are expected to release a series of recommendations in a report about what went wrong on January 6. But the report will stop short of examining former President Donald Trump’s role in potentially inciting the insurrectionists’ actions. However, despite the report, Democrats have argued that a 9/11-style commission is still necessary.

The Senate voted last week 54 to 35 on a procedural motion on legislation that would have created the commission, falling short of the 60 votes need to advance the bill. Six Republicans voted in favor, and a seventh who missed the vote said he would have joined them.

Congress already looked into Trump’s role in inciting the insurrection. They impeached him for it. But that wasn’t close enough to the 2022 election to damage Republicans.

“I think we will know everything we need to know — we were all witnesses. We were right there when it happened and I simply think the commission is not necessary,” says Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Democrats will find some way to indict Trump and the Republicans for what happened. And the media will cover it as if it’s a legitimate exercise — even though Republicans will be absent. The American people have moved on from the riot. It’s time the Democrats did too.