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President Trump urged Congressional Republicans late Tuesday to vote against legislation that would create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, calling it “more partisan unfairness” by Democrats.
“[U]nless the murders, riots, and fire bombings in Portland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Chicago, and New York are also going to be studied, this discussion should be ended immediately,” Trump said in a statement. “Republicans must get much tougher and much smarter, and stop being used by the Radical Left.
“Hopefully, [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell and [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy are listening!” the former president concluded.
The measure is expected to pass the House Wednesday despite the opposition of GOP leadership, including McCarthy (R-Calif.), who said Tuesday night that he was concerned the commission would undermine ongoing investigations into the violence.
“There’s already four investigations,” McCarthy told Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle”. “The Department of Justice already has arrested 445 people with approximately another 100 arrests to come. This would just get in the way of that. You have two investigations going on in Senate committees. You also have the Architect of the Capitol [who] was given $10 million to have a full review of the Capitol, of ways to secure it. And now we want to put a political commission to go forward?”
McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters earlier Tuesday that he would “push the pause button” on the legislation.
“I think I’m safe in characterizing our conference as willing to listen to the arguments about whether such a commission is needed,” McConnell said. “It’s safe for you to report that we are undecided.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), has vowed to bring the legislation to a vote on the floor, where it currently needs 60 votes to pass.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, described the proposed commission as “impeachment, round three.”
“It’s gonna be one more attack and broadside against President Trump …,” Jordan told Fox News’ “Hannity” Tuesday. “The Democrats are afraid he’s going to run again. That’s why they want this commission, to just go after him one more time.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), panned the proposed commission as a “complete farce,” citing concerns about the role House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would play in selecting its members and staffers.
“The commissioners are going to be named by congressional leaders, including Speaker Pelosi, who let’s face it, are ultimately responsible for securing the Capitol,” Johnson said. “If there were security lapses, and there were, she needs to be held accountable as well, and if she’s picking commissioners, that’ll never happen.”
The legislation provides for a commission made up of 10 non-lawmakers with expertise in national security and law enforcement. Each party can select five members, in keeping with a compromise reached last week by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY).
McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) argue that the commission should be able to look into other instances of political violence, including the 2017 shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice that seriously wounded Scalise.
“Remember, on Good Friday, an officer was killed at the Capitol. ‘We don’t need to investigate that’,” McCarthy told Laura Ingraham Tuesday. “What about all the riots that have led up throughout the summer, the unrest from BLM, Antifa and others? ‘No, you can’t investigate that.’ This is driven solely by politics and Nancy Pelosi, but we should not be a part of that.”
The Post previously reported that more than 25 House Republicans were expected to vote in favor of the commission legislation when it comes to the floor, with multiple members describing it as a “vote of conscience.”
Additional reporting by Juliegrace Brufke.
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