Bernie Sanders criticizes GOP for bowing to Trump, blocking January 6 commission
- Bernie Sanders lambasted Republicans for blocking a Jan.6 commission.
- Sanders said many Republicans were “too intimidated by Trump to do the right thing.”
- “It’s a painful day for American democracy,” Sanders said.
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Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont tore his Republican colleagues in the Senate apart on Friday who blocked a bipartisan bill to authorize the establishment of a commission on the lethal Jan.6 insurgency on the U.S. Capitol.
“It is a painful day for American democracy that the Republicans blocked the creation of a commission to investigate the January 6 insurgency,” Sanders said. “I applaud the six Republicans who voted for the commission, but I am saddened that many are too intimidated by Trump to do the right thing.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also criticized Republicans for derailing the bill.
“Shame on the Republican Party for trying to sweep the horrors of that day under the rug because it is afraid of Donald Trump,” Schumer said Friday.
—MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 28, 2021
Former President Donald Trump strongly opposed the creation of a commission on January 6. “Republicans in the House and Senate should not approve of the Democratic trap of the Jan. 6 Commission,” he said in a statement. “Republicans need to get much tougher and smarter, and stop being used by the radical left.”
The 10-member commission would have had subpoena power to gather information about the deadly attack. It would have been similar to the 9/11 commission, with the bill requiring the publication of a final report by the end of the year with findings on the causes of the riot and recommendations on how to prevent similar attacks in the future.
The bill, which passed in the House with the support of 35 GOP lawmakers, failed to garner the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster in the upper house. On Friday, a motion to invoke closure and move the bill forward was defeated by 54 to 35 votes. Only six Senate Republicans joined Democrats in voting to move the bill forward.
Although a number of Republicans backed the bill, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both spoke out against it. Republicans opposed the bill because they feared a Jan.6 commission would hurt their chances midway through 2022 by keeping the focus on Trump and his role in provoking the insurgency.
“They would like to continue to advocate for the former president in the future,” McConnell said at a press conference on. Tuesday. “We believe the American people going forward and in the fall of 22 should focus on what this administration is doing at home.”
McConnell and McCarthy were initially highly critical of Trump over the attack on Capitol Hill. The GOP House leader said Trump was responsible for the events of that day, while McConnell excoriated the former president for a “shameful dereliction of duty.”
Trump instigated the Capitol Riot via repeated lies about the outcome of the 2020 election. He has repeatedly claimed the election was stolen, pushing baseless claims of massive voter fraud. The former president was dismissed a second time in mid-January for provoking the deadly insurgency. Five people died during or shortly after the attack, including a Capitol police officer.
Although he criticized Trump’s actions, McCarthy opposed his impeachment and McConnell ultimately voted to acquit the former president.
Trump in his post-presidency has persisted in falsely insisting that he won the 2020 election, and polls have consistently shown that a majority of Republicans mistakenly believe President Joe Biden did not legitimately win. There is no evidence of massive voter fraud regarding the election. Election fraud in the United States is extremely rare.
Republican lawmakers in Washington have continued to demonstrate unwavering loyalty to Trump, as evidenced by Friday’s vote on the Jan. 6 commission as well as Republican’s recent ousting from the GOP’s Liz Cheney as number three. Republican in the House. Cheney refused to endorse Trump’s “big lie” about the election, and was ostracized as a result.