President Biden won’t appoint a presidential commission to look into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot despite Republicans blocking a congressional panel to review it, the White House said Thursday.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki told Axios that Biden believes Congress is the proper entity to set up a review board.
“Congress was attacked on that day, and President Biden firmly agrees with Speaker Pelosi that Congress itself has a unique role and ability to carry out that investigation,” Psaki said. “Because of that, the President doesn’t plan to appoint his own commission.”
Senate Republicans last week blocked a House-passed bill that would have created a “9/11 style” commission to establish facts surrounding the Jan. 6 riot and issue recommendation on how to prevent a recurrence.
Many Republicans believe that a commission would be used as a political cudgel by Democrats to bash them, rather than serve as an apolitical review body.
Key questions surrounding the Capitol riot remain unanswered, including the degree to which the assault was preplanned by members of the mob.
An analysis of video by the Wall Street Journal found that members of the Proud Boys group were key players in initiating clashes with police, including helping collapse an outer perimeter while then-President Donald Trump was still speaking to thousands of supporters near the White House.
The storming of the Capitol disrupted certification of President Biden’s victory in the Electoral College and sent members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence scrambling to shelter.
Trump was impeached a second time for allegedly inciting the mob, but the Senate acquitted him after he left office.
The Justice Department has arrested more than 440 people for allegedly participating in the riot. Some of the defendants are charged with conspiracy. So far, just two defendants have pleaded guilty — with one expressly agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors.
Three Trump supporters died of medical emergencies during hours of mayhem and another, Ashli Babbitt, 36, was fatally shot by a police officer as she tried to climb through a busted-out window into the House Speaker’s Lobby.
One Capitol Police officer, 42-year-old Brian Sicknick, himself a Trump supporter, died of a stroke after fighting off the crowd. His death originally was misreported as the result of a bludgeoning with a fire extinguisher. At least two police officers and one alleged rioter died by suicide following the riot.