Republicans on Friday blocked the creation of an unbiased fee to analyze the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, utilizing their filibuster energy within the Senate for the primary time this yr to doom a full accounting for the deadliest assault on Congress in centuries.
With the overwhelming majority of Republicans decided to protect their celebration from potential political harm that would come from scrutiny of the storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, solely six G.O.P. senators joined Democrats to help advancing the measure. The ultimate vote, 54 to 35, fell in need of the 60 senators wanted to maneuver ahead.
The vote was a stinging defeat for proponents of the fee, who had argued that it was the solely solution to assemble a very complete account of the riot for a polarized nation. Modeled after the inquiry into the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist assaults, the proposed panel of consultants would have been liable for producing a report on the assault and proposals to safe Congress by the tip of the yr.
The controversy performed out in the identical chamber the place a throng of supporters of former President Donald J. Trump, egged on by his lies of a stolen election and efforts by Republican lawmakers to invalidate President Biden’s victory, sought to disrupt Congress’s counting of electoral votes about 5 months in the past.
High Republicans had entertained supporting the measure as not too long ago as final week. However they in the end reversed course, and the Home permitted it with solely 35 Republican votes. Leaders concluded that open-ended scrutiny of the assault would hand Democrats highly effective political ammunition earlier than the 2022 midterm elections — and enrage a former president they’re intent on appeasing.
“I don’t imagine the extra extraneous fee that Democratic leaders need would uncover essential new details or promote therapeutic,” mentioned Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority chief. “Frankly, I don’t imagine it’s even designed to do this.”
Although Mr. McConnell mentioned he would proceed to help prison circumstances in opposition to the rioters and stand by his “unflinching” criticisms of Mr. Trump, the fee’s defeat is anticipated to embolden the previous president at a time when he has as soon as once more ramped up circulation of his baseless and debunked claims.
In a matter of months, his lies have warped the views of lots of his celebration’s supporters, who view Mr. Biden as illegitimate; impressed a rash of latest voting restrictions in Republican-led states and a quixotic recount in Arizona denounced by each events; and fueled efforts by Republican members of Congress to downplay and reframe the Capitol riot as a benign occasion akin to a “regular vacationer go to.”
“Individuals are simply now starting to know!” Mr. Trump wrote in an announcement on Thursday.
Democrats denounced the vote as a cowardly cover-up. They warned Republicans that stopping an unbiased inquiry — led by 5 commissioners appointed by Democrats and 5 by Republicans — wouldn’t protect them from confronting the implications of Mr. Trump’s assaults on the democratic course of.
“Do my Republican colleagues keep in mind that day?” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the bulk chief, requested moments after the vote. “Do my Republican colleagues keep in mind the savage mob calling for the execution of Mike Pence, the makeshift gallows exterior the Capitol?”
“Disgrace on the Republican Social gathering for attempting to comb the horrors of that day underneath the rug as a result of they’re afraid of Donald Trump,” he added.
The six Republicans who voted to advance debate on the fee included Senators Invoice Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan M. Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah and Ben Sasse of Nebraska. All however Mr. Portman had voted at an impeachment trial in February to seek out Mr. Trump responsible of inciting the rebel.
A seventh Republican, Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, missed the vote however mentioned he would have voted to advance debate on the fee. He was certainly one of 11 senators who missed the vote.