House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) used her weekly press conference on Thursday to demand that the 9/11-style commission being established to investigate the Capitol riots that took place last month be given subpoena power. This comes as concerns grew that the investigation would become partisan in nature.
“You have to have subpoena power,” Pelosi replied when asked if the commission should be able to demand testimony from unwilling witnesses.
“There’s really strong support in the country for us to seek the truth, find the truth, but also understand how we have to protect the American people from what might be out there in terms of domestic terrorism and the rest,” she added, according to The New York Post.
After weeks of calls for a 9/11 style probe, Pelosi announced that a commission had been formed on Monday, telling her colleagues that there are too many unanswered questions about the riots. On Wednesday, however, House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) told CNN that he had not heard anything about this from Pelosi or Democrat leaders.
“If Speaker Pelosi’s vision of a 9/11 Commission is to only stay focused on Republicans, then she is really not interested in a truly 9/11-type commission,” he said.
Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hamill responded to this by denying that the commission would be partisan.
“Nobody wants this to be partisan. that’s why the effort here is to follow what was done with the 9/11 commission,” he said, “And that means that the commission leaders are appointed by the four top Congressional leaders and the president.”
“It’s a model that worked before,” he added, referring to the fact that the 9/11-commission had subpoena power. “We agree there’s no room for partisanship in this effort, but what we can’t have are excuses not to do something rather than reasons.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wy.) have both voiced support for a 9/11-style commission, with Cheney saying that it should have subpoena power. She also said that it should “be made up of retired officials from both parties.”
When asked for comment on a potential commission, McCarthy said, “Republicans put forward a proposal for a fact-finding commission over one month ago. It is our responsibility to understand the security and intelligence breakdowns that led to the riot on January 6 so that we can better protect this institution and the men and women working inside it.”