Multiple investigations already underway, Senators say.
Today, Mississippi’s two U.S. Senators were among those opposing legislation backed by Democrats to create a Congressional commission to investigate the events of January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol building.
The Senate vote was 54-35 in favor. However, it required 60 votes to move pass. Six Republican Senators voted with Democrats on the measure. Those were Senators Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse. In all, 11 Senators were absent from today’s vote.
The U.S. House of Representatives had passed the bill by a vote 252-175 on May 19 when 35 Republicans crossed over to support the creation of the January 6 Commission. Mississippi Third District Congressman Michael Guest was among that group of GOP lawmakers.
Senators Wicker and Hyde-Smith both issued statements following their votes.
“It is clear that the events of January 6 have been and will continue to be investigated by Congress and our law enforcement agencies,” Wicker said. “It is my view that adding a new commission to this mix would inevitably delay and distract from the productive investigations already underway.”
Hyde-Smith echoed her Mississippi colleague.
“The shameful attack on our Capitol in January deserves to be investigated thoroughly, but this Democratic proposal would enable a politically-skewed exercise that I cannot support. There are, in fact, multiple bipartisan congressional investigations underway, including work by the Rules Committee,” Hyde-Smith said. “The Justice Department, FBI, and law enforcement are also actively pursuing the prosecution of those who broke the law as part of the January 6 riot. I support these ongoing activities and responsible efforts to improve security at the Capitol.”
According to Senator Wicker, the following investigations into the events on January 6 have been conducted or are in progress:
- Criminal investigations – The U.S. Capitol Police, in coordination with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, have been conducting a full investigation of the criminal activity that occurred on that day. The DOJ has announced that over 400 individuals have already been arrested.
- Impeachment Proceedings – The impeachment proceedings in February closely scrutinized the events of January 6.
- U.S. Capitol Police, Office of the Inspector General – The OIG has released three reports on the events of January 6.
- Task Force 1-6 Capitol Security Review – In March, at the direction of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Lt. General Russell Honore completed a six-week review of security procedures at the Capitol and produced a report detailing his recommendations.
- The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Rules Committee – Two Senate committees with jurisdiction over Capitol Hill security have held two joint hearings to date. The committees are working on a joint, bipartisan report to be released in the coming weeks.
Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was, of course, unhappy with the result of the vote.
“Shame on the Republican Party for trying to sweep the horrors of that day under the rug because they’re afraid of Donald Trump,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.