POLITICS

Pelosi Announces 9/11 Commission-Style Probe Into Capitol Riot

"We must get to the truth of how this happened," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Monday that the chamber will form an “independent 9/11-type commission” to investigate the circumstances surrounding the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The decision follows a security review by retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, whom Pelosi tapped last month to explore how police officers at the Capitol failed to stop the attack by hundreds of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters, who violently stormed the halls of Congress and forced lawmakers, staffers and reporters into hiding for hours. 

“It is clear from his findings and from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened,” Pelosi said in a statement on Monday, referring to Honoré’s review.

“Now, as always, security is the order of the day: the security of our country, the security of our Capitol, which is the temple of our democracy, and the security of our Members,” the speaker said.

Her announcement follows calls from legislators to establish such a commission, with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who now chairs the Senate Ethics Committee, saying a commission could “lay bare the record of just how responsible and how abjectly violating of his constitutional oath President Trump really was.” 

Pelosi also called for funds to bolster security in the interim, saying “we must put forth a supplemental appropriation to provide for the safety of Members and the security of the Capitol.”

The commission will be styled after one formed in 2002 following the 9/11 terror attacks, which sought to identify the security failures surrounding that tragedy. The 9/11 commission called multiple witnesses to testify in public and private, including former President Bill Clinton and then-President George W. Bush, and released its final report in 2004. 

But the bipartisan panel and its report were undercut by several controversies that Pelosi will need to avoid. While the final report laid blame on the FBI and CIA for failing to stop the attacks, media investigations later found that some commission staffers had undisclosed conflicts of interest that may have motivated them to minimize culpability on the part of the Bush administration. The commission also came under fire for relying on information that was gathered by torturing al Quaeda detainees. The co-chairs of the commission later spoke out, saying they were “set up to fail.”