Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) submitted the following remarks to the Congressional Record in support of the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act:
“I rise in support of the legislation to create an independent, bipartisan commission to examine the January 6 attack on the Capitol that killed five people. A full and honest review is critical not only to understand the events of that day, but also to ensure the continued strength and well-being of our democracy.
On the afternoon of January 6, Americans watched in horror as thousands of insurrectionists stormed the Capitol to prevent the certification of a free and fair presidential election.
Many of us carry vivid memories from that nightmarish day. We recall the panic and confusion, the shouting and chants of an angry mob, and the crashing of windows and doors being smashed inside these hallowed halls.
While many of us were on the Senate floor until being evacuated to a secure location by the Capitol Police and sergeant at arms, we have learned since that violent members of the mob were minutes away from reaching the Senate chamber with us inside.
Capitol Police officers, upholding their sworn duty to protect and defend the Capitol and members of Congress, were beaten with sticks, bats and even the American flag as the mob charged the building.
Rioters broke into this very chamber, dropping down from the gallery, some carrying zip ties presumably to restrain any senators or police officers they caught. Others were chanting ‘hang Mike Pence’ while a makeshift gallows was built outside the Capitol building.
While these memories remain clear, I fear the record for January 6 is being blurred by misinformation and political posturing.
An independent bipartisan commission is our best chance to set the record straight and establish the truth about the events on January 6. Congressional committees, the Department of Justice and President Trump’s impeachment trial have conducted their own reviews of the violence on that day and some of the events leading up to it.
However, those reviews weren’t comprehensive and didn’t have the stature of a congressionally mandated, independent and bipartisan commission, along the lines of the 9/11 commission.
In addition to providing an independent and authoritative account of the January 6 attack, the commission would evaluate the motivation for and planning of the attack, identify gaps in law enforcement preparation and response, and enable Congress and the administration to take action to prevent future attacks.
I would remind Senators that the same arguments being used against this commission were used against forming the 9/11 commission. ‘Reviews are already underway. It will become political. We need to look forward, not backward.’
But the 9/11 commission revealed critical new information about the planning and implementation of that attack, and made recommendations that led to landmark legislation. It’s now the model of an independent commission and the legislation before us today is based on that model.
I call upon every one of my colleagues to support this serious, comprehensive and bipartisan review of the violent attack on the Capitol. We owe it to the American people to pass this legislation and establish an independent commission.”