House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will announce this week whether she’ll set up a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection, following the Republican filibuster of an independent commission to do the same work.
A select committee, which would only need to pass through the House, would be staffed by lawmakers. Democrats have been lukewarm on the option, which will inevitably prompt Republican dismissal and accusations of partisanship, but have come around as it’s become clear that the GOP will not support any investigation.
Pelosi’s announcement was muddied by seemingly preemptive reports that she’ll announce this week that she will stand up the select committee, something she and her staff were quick to correct.
“No I did not make that announcement,” Pelosi said to reporters Wednesday night. “Somebody put out a false report.”
“Clarification on tonight’s meeting of the Steering and Policy Committee,” wrote her spokesman Drew Hammill on Twitter. “Speaker Pelosi told Members she plans to announce WHETHER she will create a select committee THIS WEEK. Her preference continues to be a bipartisan commission which Senate Republicans are blocking.”
A battery of Democratic senators told TPM the same thing: they’d prefer a bipartisan investigation, and are still miffed that Republicans bricked the commission.
But Republicans have made clear that they have no interest in an investigation that will inevitably rope in the leader of their party and likely some of its current members, particularly on a timeline that will keep the insurrection fresh in voters’ minds before the midterms.
GOP condemnations of the probe as partisan seem inevitable, no matter its format: both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) dismissed the independent commission, which was drawn up by one of their members, as a partisan product of Democratic leadership.