Why the January 6th Commission Must Fight Against Republican Obstructionism

Tyler Merbler via Wikimedia Commons

The January 6th insurrection is perhaps one of the most historic events in recent memory, with events such as 9/11 among the few days that could match its importance. And though many Americans would like to know exactly how our Capitol nearly fell to armed insurrectionists, the GOP seems hellbent on resisting any serious investigation into that horrible day. Such opposition must be defeated.

From the very beginning, Republicans have done everything they could to prevent the people from getting answers about the Capitol attack. Despite attempts by Democratic leadership to allow equal seating of Republicans and Democrats on the commission, Senate Republicans refused to vote in favor of a bipartisan committee, seemingly attempting to protect Trump from any consequences. Only six Republicans voted for the commission, even less than the Republicans who voted for impeachment.

Adding to this obstinance, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy attempted to derail the commission when he suggested Representatives Jim Jordan and Jim Banks for committee seats. Both Jordan and Banks have rejected the need for a commission and had previously voted against certifying the 2020 election. Jordan himself had contact with then-President Donald Trump on January 6th, which has piqued the commission’s interest. It was no surprise that Speaker Pelosi rejected Banks and Jordan, as their history spoke for itself. But it was what McCarthy was hoping for, as he sought any excuse to reject the commission as illegitimate.

Even with the internal opposition to investigating this historic attack on our republic, the commission also has had to fight against uncooperative and outright defiant witnesses. Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon has been indicted for his refusal to comply with the commission’s subpoena, with former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows likely to follow him down that path. Meadows has decided to sue the commission in another attempt to block the investigation.

Even members of Congress have proven unwilling to assist their colleagues in their investigation, with Rep. Scott Perry refusing to answer the commission’s questions regarding his communications with Trump and his legal team. Instead, Perry dismissed the commission as illegitimate and decried the “Radical Left.” Rep. Jordan has also faced questions about his involvement with Donald Trump and his legal team. Jordan also texted Mark Meadows, detailing a plan to overturn the election’s results. Jordan will almost certainly fight to avoid testifying before the commission, though how the commission will respond remains unclear.

With this multi-pronged attempt to conceal the dangers that January 6th created, it is more important than ever that the commission sets a precedent that Congress will not tolerate any obstruction of their investigation into attacks on our Democracy, especially by Congressmembers. No amount of political privilege or partisan talking points should be able to block an investigation into such a historic attack on our nation. The commission should take the noncompliance by Republicans as yet another reason why this investigation is necessary. So long as GOP operatives are allowed to avoid answering for their actions, the likelier it becomes that they will bury the severity of the attack on our elections.

No amount of political posturing can justify this continued abuse of our political system, and if Republicans are not held accountable, they will continue to poison our political system until it collapses under the weight of their corruption.

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