Republicans block probe of US Capitol riot
Republicans in the US Senate have derailed a bipartisan inquiry into the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol in spite of a torrent of criticism the lawmakers were playing down the violence.
In what seems to be a victory for former President Donald Trump, whose supporters stormed the Capitol leaving five people dead including a Capitol Police officer, GOP lawmakers on Friday blocked the creation of an independent commission to investigate the deadly assault.
Throngs of mostly white pro-Trump supporters, some armed and carrying Confederate flags and others dressed in tactical gear, breached the Capitol building, largely unobstructed by law enforcement officers.
The riot, which was intended to disrupt the ceremonial counting of Joe Biden’s electoral votes in Congress, was in part blamed on Trump’s rhetoric and his refusal to concede defeat in the November 3 election.
Democrats and some moderate Republicans had later called for a commission to probe the events prior the riot and the assault that day too.
GOP lawmakers and supporters feared the inquiry commission would keep public attention on violence at the US Capitol and could expose new details about Trump's handling of the Jan. 6 events that might affect the party’s chances in 2022 midterm elections.
On Friday, the measure mustered a 54-35 vote which fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation in the 100-member Senate. The 35 no votes were all Republicans. Only six Republicans joined Democrats to vote in favor of the commission.
This marked the first time this year that Republicans used the 60-vote hurdle, known as a filibuster, to defeat legislation.