White House: Biden will not appoint presidential Jan. 6 commission


The White House on Thursday batted down the prospect of President Biden appointing his own commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6, saying it is Congress's duty to look into the riots at the Capitol that day.

"As the President has said, the events of January 6th were an unprecedented assault on our democracy — and he believes they deserve a full, and independent, investigation to determine what transpired and ensure it can never happen again," press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

"Congress was attacked on that day, and President Biden firmly agrees with Speaker Pelosi that Congress itself has a unique role and ability to carry out that investigation. Because of that, the President doesn’t plan to appoint his own commission," she added.

"Members of Congress swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the President believes they can, and must, do that by putting politics aside and supporting a full and transparent investigation into January 6th.”

Axios first reported the White House's opposition to a presidential commission.

The House last month approved legislation to form a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, when hundreds of former President Trump's supporters overwhelmed law enforcement and stormed the complex to try and halt the certification of Biden's electoral victory.

Thirty-five GOP lawmakers joined with Democrats to pass the bill, which would have established a 10-member commission with the power to appoint members split between both parties, similar to the panel created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

But the bill failed to garner enough votes in the Senate to overcome the 60-vote legislative filibuster with a vote of 54-35. Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah), Bill Cassidy (La.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Susan Collins (Maine) and Ben Sasse (Neb.) voted in favor of the bill.

The White House said in the aftermath of the vote that Biden remained committed to supporting an independent investigation into the attacks.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has previously ruled out a presidential commission as a non-starter.

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