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US lawmakers agree on 9/11-type commission to probe Jan. 6 attack

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Angry protesters try to break through a police barrier, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP photo)

The top Democrat and Republican on the US House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee have agreed to conduct a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the January 6 storming of US Capitol by then-President Donald Trump’s loyalists.

Democratic chairman Bennie Thompson and ranking member John Katko said on Friday in a statement they would present a bill for consideration before the House next week to establish the investigative panel like the one used to probe the attacks of September 11, 2001 that killed about 3,000 Americans, the Reuters news agency reported.

"There has been a growing consensus that the January 6th attack is of a complexity and national significance that...we need an independent commission to investigate," Thompson said in a statement. "Inaction – or just moving on – is simply not an option."

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described the assault as "one of the darkest days in our history" and added that the House would also plan to increase emergency spending to boost security at the Capitol.

"It is imperative that we seek the truth of what happened on January 6 with an independent, bipartisan 9/11-type Commission to examine and report upon the facts, causes and security relating to the terrorist mob attack," she said in a statement.

The proposed panel would have ten members including five commissioners appointed by each party as well as subpoena authority, the lawmakers said.

In mid-February, Pelosi announced that Congress had decided to establish an independent commission to investigate the January 6 events, similar to the one set up in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Later, she said that her recommendation for the panel was to be made up of seven Democratic senators and four Republican ones, which aroused the Republicans' harsh criticism, including the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who had previously stressed that the Republican voters will never accept the findings of a Democratic panel.

On January 6, Trump incited his own supporters, including members of Proud Boys, to storm the US Capitol building, where lawmakers were in the process of confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump was impeached by the US House of Representatives a historic second time for the instigation of the attack.

The protest resulted in the death of at least five people, including a police officer who was guarding the Congress building.

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