House votes to establish committee to investigate Capitol riot

By Veronica Rocha, Melissa Macaya, Maureen Chowdhury, Melissa Mahtani and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 6:39 p.m. ET, June 30, 2021
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6:36 p.m. ET, June 30, 2021

What the House's Jan. 6 select committee will do, according to the resolution passed in the chamber

From CNN's Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju, Ryan Nobles and Annie Grayer

House TV
House TV

heThe House voted Wednesday to create a select committee that will investigate the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, while House Republican leaders still aren't saying whether they will participate in the panel.

The chamber voted 222-190 to formally create the select committee, with just two Republicans joining with Democrats to support its formation — Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

The House's vote today formalized the select panel that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced last week, which she's putting in place after Senate Republicans blocked the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection. Pelosi's measure did not need to pass in the Senate.

Ahead of the vote, Pelosi said on the floor that she was "heartbroken" Congress could not establish a bipartisan commission. Even though the speaker said she was still "hopeful" that a bipartisan commission could happen in the future, Congress had to move forward with the select committee.

"We cannot wait," Pelosi said Wednesday. "We believe that Congress must in the spirit of bipartisanship and patriotism establish this commission. And it will be conducted with dignity with patriotism with respect for the American people, so that they can know the truth."

Here are key things to know about the committee:

  • What it will probe: The House's select committee is expected to investigate both the security failings of the January 6 attack — when pro-Trump rioters breached the Capitol and disrupted the certification of Joe Biden's November 2020 victory — as well as the circumstances leading up to the attack. That's likely to include an accounting of former President Trump's role spreading lies about the election being stolen, as well as some Republican lawmakers who supported efforts to overturn the election. The committee could also examine McCarthy's conversation with Trump by phone as the attack was unfolding.
  • How it will be organized: According to the resolution, the committee will be made up of 13 members. Eight of those members will be appointed by Pelosi, five will be picked in consultation with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. While Pelosi did not tip her hand as to who she plans to choose to chair or serve on the committee, an aide tells CNN that she is seriously considering a Republican as one of her eight picks. This select committee will be run by House Democrats, have subpoena power and will not be given a strict deadline to finish its work.
  • What Republicans are saying: Most House Republicans have criticized the select committee, accusing Democrats of creating a partisan panel that will be used to attack former President Donald Trump. House GOP Whip Steve Scalise recommended House Republicans oppose the select committee on Tuesday. And several Republicans who voted in favor of the bipartisan commission legislation said they would vote against the select committee.

Read more about today's vote here.

6:14 p.m. ET, June 30, 2021

DC officer says he was "shocked but not surprised" by House vote

From CNN's Manu Raju

DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone told CNN he was “shocked but not surprised” by the vote today to create a select committee that will investigate the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.

“I mean 190 votes against a special committee, again like I understand the political argument here that it's a special committee and it's political in nature," he said. "I see the speaker as having exhausted every other means of investigating Jan. 6 insurrection. What was she left to do other than to ignore it, which is just not enough.”

Fanone added that the narrower Jan. 6 investigations so far amount to a “band-aid on a bullet hole.”

“If we don't address the root cause of that day, the fact that it was political in nature, that it was inspired by or incited by the leader of the Republican Party at the time President Donald Trump, and it involved Americans attacking a seat of democracy and trampling on a bunch of police officers on the way in," he said.

US Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn told CNN he was "surprised by how close" the vote was.

“Glad that it passed but surprised by how close it was. I think we have a lot more coming together to do as a country," Dunn said.

After watching very few Republicans come the floor for debate, Dunn said, “It just looked like they had their mind made up.”

5:06 p.m. ET, June 30, 2021

McCarthy says select committee “seems pretty political”

From CNN's From Ryan Nobles 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy leaves the House Chambers after a vote on creating a January 6th Committee at the U.S. Capitol on June 30.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy leaves the House Chambers after a vote on creating a January 6th Committee at the U.S. Capitol on June 30. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

House Minority Kevin McCarthy still refuses to say if he will cooperate and offer up members to serve the Jan. 6th select committee. 

When asked by CNN if he has decided when he will offer up his appointments, McCarthy responded “no.”

When asked if he planned to cooperate and offer up appointments McCarthy responded “it seems pretty political to me.”

He did not respond when CNN asked if that meant he would not appoint anyone.

More on the committee: Under the House's resolution that passed in the chamber today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will appoint eight members to the committee and McCarthy has five slots "in consultation" with Pelosi, meaning the House speaker could veto McCarthy's selections.

The House's select committee is expected to investigate both the security failings of the attack as well as the circumstances leading up to the attack. That's likely to include an accounting of former President Trump's role spreading lies about the election being stolen, as well as some Republican lawmakers who supported efforts to overturn the election. The committee could also examine McCarthy's conversation with Trump by phone as the attack was unfolding.

Pelosi made the move to establish the committee after Senate Republicans blocked the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack.

Read more about the committee and today's vote here.

CNN's Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju, Ryan Nobles and Annie Grayer contributed reporting to this post

4:37 p.m. ET, June 30, 2021

Officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6 attended today's vote

From CNN's Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju, Ryan Nobles and Annie Grayer

The House voted Wednesday to create a new select committee that will investigate the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol after a bipartisan commission was blocked in May by Senate Republicans.

CNN reported Tuesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had invited representatives from both the US Capitol Police and the DC Metropolitan Police to be guests.

While lawmakers debated in the House chamber, officers injured during the Jan. 6 attack listened from the gallery.

Among the US Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department members in attendance were USCP Officer Harry Dunn, MPD Officer Michael Fanone, MPD Officer Daniel Hodges, MPD Officer Abdulkadir Abdi, MPD Officer Carlton Wilhoit III and the mother and partner of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died the day after the insurrection.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, shared some images on Twitter with the officers at the US Capitol:

4:40 p.m. ET, June 30, 2021

Just 2 Republicans voted for a select committee to investigate US Capitol attack

From CNN's Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju, Ryan Nobles and Annie Grayer

Getty Images
Getty Images

The House voted 222-190 to formally create a select panel to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Just two Republicans joined with Democrats to support its formation — Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

Both Cheney and Kinzinger have been outspoken about the need to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.

While the lawmakers said they would have preferred the bipartisan commission to the House-led panel, they argued that a thorough examination of the Jan. 6 insurrection was necessary.

"I believe this select committee is our only remaining option. I will vote to support it," Cheney said in a statement explaining her vote.

"As I have said, I believe a bipartisan independent commission is the best approach — and although the House was able to pass the measure, it was blocked by the Senate. Today, I voted in support of the Select Committee because the truth matters," Kinzinger said in a statement after the vote.

If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decides to appoint a Republican to the panel, it's likely to be either Cheney or Kinzinger.

Ahead of the vote, Pelosi said on the floor that she was "heartbroken" Congress could not establish a bipartisan commission. Even though the speaker said she was still "hopeful" that a bipartisan commission could happen in the future, Congress had to move forward with the select committee.

"We cannot wait," Pelosi said Wednesday. "We believe that Congress must in the spirit of bipartisanship and patriotism establish this commission. And it will be conducted with dignity with patriotism with respect for the American people, so that they can know the truth."

Pelosi made the move to establish the committee after Senate Republicans blocked the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack. 

Read more about today's vote here.

4:41 p.m. ET, June 30, 2021

JUST IN: House votes to create select committee to investigate Jan. 6 attack on US Capitol

From CNN's Annie Grayer, Jeremy Herb and Kristin Wilson

The House just voted to create a new select committee that will investigate the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.

The vote fell mostly along party lines and signaled the political fight to come over the panel's examination of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

The House voted 222-190 to formally create the select committee announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week after Senate Republicans blocked the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack.

Just two Republicans joined with Democrats to support the formation of the select panel: Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney.

“Our bipartisan, good-faith proposal was met with a filibuster. Now that Senate Republicans have chosen to block the formation of an independent commission, it falls to the House to stay the course and get the answers they deserve,” said House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, who is one of the potential candidates to chair the select committee.

Republicans charged that the select committee envisioned by Democrats was merely a partisan panel that would be used to attack former President Trump. Many of the Republicans who voted in favor of the bipartisan commission legislation opposed the select committee.

"I supported a bipartisan independent commission. This is the opposite," Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, the Ohio Republican who voted to impeach Trump and was the target of Trump's rally over the weekend, told CNN before the vote.

Now the question falls to how House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will approach the new committee. McCarthy has declined to answer questions this week about who he might appoint to the committee – such as those who voted to overturn the election or have downplayed the violence on Jan. 6 – or whether he will appoint Republicans at all. 

"The speaker has never talked to me about it," McCarthy said.

3:57 p.m. ET, June 30, 2021

McCarthy won’t say if GOP will name members to select committee

 From CNN's Manu Raju and Ryan Nobles

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Asked if he would name members to the select committee, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy responded by asking a question back: “Which select committee? We got a couple.” 

CNN's Manu Raju then said the Jan. 6 select committee.

McCarthy responded: “I have to study them all,” and he walked on to the House floor for the vote. 

Under the House's resolution, Pelosi will appoint eight members to the commission and McCarthy has five slots "in consultation" with Pelosi — meaning she could veto McCarthy's selections. Pelosi is also considering appointing a Republican among her eight selections, according to an aide.

Meanwhile, GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio left open the possibility that he would be willing to serve on the select committee to investigate the Capitol insurrection if McCarthy eventually asks him. 

“It’s up to Kevin,” Jordan said, “and I guess the Speaker.”

When pressed by CNN if he would say "yes" if asked by McCarthy — Jordan responded, “It’s totally up to Kevin.”

 Read more about today's House vote here.

3:53 p.m. ET, June 30, 2021

Cheney says she will vote to support Jan. 6 select committee and calls it "our only remaining option" 

From CNN's Jamie Gangel and Alex Rogers

Wyoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney sharply criticized Republican leaders ahead of a vote Wednesday to create a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, which she said she supported. 

It was the latest attempt by the high-profile Republican to hold former President Trump accountable for his actions before, during and after the deadly riot.

"Since January 6th, the courage of my party's leaders has faded. But the threat to our Republic has not," Cheney wrote in a statement.

"On an almost daily basis, Donald Trump repeats the same statements that provoked violence before. His attacks on our Constitution are accelerating. Our responsibility is to confront these threats, not appease and deflect," she wrote.

"The attack on January 6th was an unprecedented assault on Congress and the functioning of our democratic process. That day, almost all of us recognized immediately the gravity of what had occurred," Cheney said.

Cheney, the former No. 3 House Republican, was the highest ranking Republican who supported the impeachment of Trump on the charge "incitement of insurrection" in January. 

But in May, after she had for months publicly rejected Trump's lie that he won the 2020 presidential election, the House GOP ousted Cheney from her leadership position in a voice vote behind closed doors. 

A week later, Cheney and 34 other House Republicans joined Democrats in voting for a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the attack. The bill passed the House but Republicans blocked it in the Senate. 

Cheney said Wednesday that the Jan. 6 riot was "the most serious attack" on the Capitol since 1814, when British troops marched into Washington and set it on fire.

Our nation, and the families of the brave law enforcement officers who were injured defending us or died following the attack, deserve answers. I believe this select committee is our only remaining option. I will vote to support it," Cheney continued.

"We must ensure that what happened on January 6, 2021 never happens again," she added.

3:16 p.m. ET, June 30, 2021

NOW: House voting on resolution to establish select committee to investigate Capitol riot

From CNN's Annie Grayer, Manu Raju, Kristin Wilson and Jeremy Herb 

The House is voting now to create a select committee to investigate the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol, while House Republican leaders still aren't saying whether they will participate in the panel.

No one from House Republican leadership came to outline their opposition to the select committee set to investigate the January 6 insurrection when the House was debating the resolution on the floor. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise and GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik did not give floor speeches. 

Although the House Republican conference did not use their formal whip process to influence the results of today’s vote the office of Rep. Steve Scalise sent Republicans members a “leadership recommendation” to vote NO. 

Here are key things to know about the committee the resolution would form:

  • The committee would be made up of 13 members.
  • Eight of those members will be appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  • Five will be picked in consultation with McCarthy.
  • While Pelosi did not tip her hand as to who she plans to choose to chair or serve on the committee, an aide tells CNN that she is seriously considering a Republican as one of her eight picks.
  • This select committee will have subpoena power and will not be given a strict deadline to finish its work.

 Read more about today's vote here.