House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn’t giving up on her partisan witch hunt to find the “root causes” of the January 6 riot at the Capitol building. She announced on Thursday the formation of a select committee to “establish the truth of that day” that will be heavy on the partisanship and light on the truth.
Indeed, she may deign to include a few Republicans on the select committee. But make no mistake, this will be a nakedly partisan effort to blame Donald Trump for actions he had no foreknowledge of and did not support.
Pelosi did not say how many members the committee would have or the partisan makeup of the panel. But the committee will have subpoena powers and nearly unlimited scope.
The select committee — which will require a majority vote in the Democratic-led House to be formed — is a signal that Pelosi wants to centralize those investigations in one body that will be equipped with subpoena power and tasked with publishing its findings.
But a select committee is all but guaranteed to be a more partisan forum than an independent commission would have been — meaning the parties may come no closer to a consensus about why Jan. 6 happened and who is to blame for it at the end of the probe than they are at the present moment.
One big question will be how long the committee will have before its final report is released. If Democrats play their cards right, they can drag the proceedings out until next year and then release their findings a few months before the election.
“There are two actual paths,” the speaker said. “One is about the root causes of it — the white supremacy, the antisemitism, the Islamophobia, all the rest of it that was so evident. … The other is the security of the Capitol and what it means to be ready for such an insurrection.”
If we already know the root causes — “white supremacy, the antisemitism, the Islamophobia, all the rest of it that was so evident” — why do we need a select committee to tell us? And since there are eight other congressional committees looking at the security breakdowns, Pelosi is going to have to do better at explaining why her star chamber needs to sit at all.
I must confess my ignorance. I had no idea that the “root cause” of the Capitol riot was Islamophobia, or antisemitism, or white supremacy. I must be blind because I didn’t see anything “evident” about it. Maybe one of the root causes was the political violence unleashed the previous summer in protests and riots against the police.
Sadly, we’ll never know. In fact, we’ll almost certainly not even hear about it. Those were patriotic riots for which no explanation is needed. Nary a word will be spoken of them during the committee hearings.
Hopefully, Democrats won’t be able to help themselves, and committee members will out themselves as partisan hacks before too long. The good thing is that only liberals and five-year-old children will believe the proceedings to be anything but a partisan witch hunt.