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Jan. 6 investigation must be held

The events of Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol are unprecedented. Never before has a mob broken into the nation’s capitol to disrupt Congress in the midst of its duties — the certification of the election of a U.S. president.

This was an appalling event, one that is being described differently by different parties. Was it a mob of insurrectionists, or a group of patriotic citizens who got carried away? Were they trying to reverse the election or simply voice their opinion? Was it a attempt to keep power fomented by then President Donald Trump?

These are the kinds of questions that need to be examined, with definitive answers and recommendations for preventing such events in the future. Ideally, this would be conducted by a united Congress, with both Democrats and Republicans dropping their party agendas to thoroughly and fairly study this attack on the nation’s system of government.

Sadly, Republicans in Congress opposed the creation of a true bipartisan commission, with equal representation from both parties. House Democrats moved forward, then, with a partisan commission, called by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with a majority of members from the Democratic caucus and a minority of Republican members.

House Minority Leader Mike McCarthy has been throwing obstacles in the way of the investigation since it was announced. This week, he named five Republicans to serve on the commission, including two of Trump’s most ardent supporters. When Pelosi rejected them, McCarthy pulled back his list, saying all would serve or none, and hinting at consequences for any Republican who dared to participate.

Pelosi should move ahead with the commission, with or without Republican participation. This is too important an investigation to be held up by ugly partisanship.

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