Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) on Sunday was grilled on his opposition to the Jan. 6 commission bill, despite previously voting for a commission to investigate a 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya.
During an interview on CNN, McCaul was pressed on his opposition to the bill that passed in the House, but failed in the Senate when Republicans in the upper chamber used the filibuster to block the legislation from advancing.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper cited McCaul being among the Republican lawmakers who pushed for a House-led investigation in 2014 into an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
After acknowledging that Jan. 6 was a “dark day in American history,” McCaul argued that the Capitol insurrection should be investigated by the Department of Justice — a demand that he previously issued after the attack.
“I view this not as an overview of policy, like the 9/11 Commission did. It’s a criminal investigation, a criminal case,” McCaul said. “In my judgment, that properly falls within the venue, the purview of the Department of Justice, where I worked for many years, rather than a politically appointed commission.”
McCaul went on to reiterate his stance by echoing the GOP talking point of arguing that the commission would be partisan, despite how the proposed commission would be evenly split between both parties. The bill was crafted by the bipartisan team of House Homeland Security committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and ranking member John Katko (R-NY).
“I want those responsible to be held accountable and put behind bars. And I want all the answers as to what happened on January 6, and then report it to Congress,” McCaul said. “I think Congress should have a full report on this DOJ investigation that I don’t believe will be tainted by politics, whereas some other methods could be.”
Only six Republican senators crossed party lines in a 54-35 vote on Friday in favor of the House-passed bill, falling short of the 60 votes needed for the legislation to move forward.
Democrats are now considering alternatives following the bill’s failure in the Senate, which includes the appointment of a select committee or demanding that President Biden form a presidential commission to probe the Capitol insurrection.
Watch McCaul’s remarks below:
Jake Tapper presses Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) on his lack of support for the 1/6 commission, noting he defended the need for multiple Benghazi commissions: "I wonder why you don’t have the same feeling here about this commission?" pic.twitter.com/2QoUAWW7XS
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 30, 2021