Statement on the Importance of the House Select Committee Investigation of the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol

July 26, 2021

Last month, the House voted 222-190 to create a select committee to investigate the causes of the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol. While we had hoped for the 9/11-style commission negotiated by a bipartisan group of members of Congress, and regret the decision of Senate and House Republican leaders to oppose that approach, Speaker Pelosi’s establishment of a select committee will ensure we get to the bottom of how and why this attack came about. This attack was unprecedented. It resulted in loss of human life and was intended to block, and did in fact interrupt, the Constitutional process for peacefully transferring power following an election. The American people deserve—and constitutional accountability demands—a comprehensive assessment of what happened and why.

We need to uncover the facts of any planning by the attackers and how they gained access to the Capitol as Congress was certifying the 2020 Electoral College results. We are encouraged by the bipartisan nature of this committee and are hopeful it will get to the truth.

Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger deserve distinct praise for setting aside any partisan considerations to serve on the committee, and we commend Speaker Pelosi for selecting them. Their consistent calls for an objective probe into the attack will lend to the bipartisan legitimacy of its findings. As both members have made clear in their own public comments, serving on this committee is about duty to country.

A pillar of our democracy was besieged on January 6. Such a moment demands uncovering the series of events that led to it and, if need be, consequences for individuals who are found to have contributed to the attack. We must learn the lessons from this dark moment in our history to ensure that it is never repeated. Doing so requires a full accounting of the facts of that day. We are hopeful the House’s select committee will achieve a thorough understanding of how this attack could happen.

  • Jonathan H. Adler
  • Donald B. Ayer
  • John B. Bellinger, III
  • Richard Bernstein
  • Phillip D. Brady
  • Travis Brown
  • George T. Conway, III
  • Mickey Edwards
  • Charles Fried
  • Stuart M. Gerson
  • Peter D. Keisler
  • Edward J. Larson
  • Irina Manta
  • Constance Morella
  • Gregg Nunziata
  • Michael S. Paulsen
  • Carter G. Phillips
  • Trevor Potter
  • Alan Charles Raul
  • Jonathan C. Rose
  • Paul Rosenzweig
  • Peter D. Ross
  • ​Nicholas Rostow
  • Andrew Sagor
  • Robert B. Shanks
  • Christopher Shays
  • Erin Sheley
  • Michael Shepherd
  • Ilya Somin
  • Stan Twardy, Jr.
  • Christine Todd Whitman
  • Keith E. Whittington

Each of us speaks and acts solely in our individual capacities, and our views should not be attributed to any organization with which we may be affiliated.

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