Jun 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: Biden opposes a presidential commission for Jan. 6

Trump supporters on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Trump supporters on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Biden has decided against appointing his own commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection and will instead increase pressure on Congress to establish a committee, White House officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: Some House Democrats suggested Biden create a presidential commission after Senate Republicans blocked the establishment of a bipartisan, independent panel. This decision signals his preference for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take the lead.

What they're saying: “Congress was attacked on that day, and President Biden firmly agrees with Speaker Pelosi that Congress itself has a unique role and ability to carry out that investigation,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki tells Axios.

“Because of that, the President doesn’t plan to appoint his own commission."
  • "The events of Jan. 6 were an unprecedented assault on our democracy — and he believes they deserve a full, and independent, investigation to determine what transpired and ensure it can never happen again."

Worth noting: Pelosi had already dismissed a presidential commission to study the Capitol insurrection, telling House Democrats earlier this week that Biden appointing such a panel would be "unworkable," per AP.

The big picture: Biden isn't letting any daylight between himself and Pelosi, who on Wednesday previewed potential options for how a commission can review the events that led up to insurrection, according to NBC News.

  • They include holding a second Senate vote to try to force more members on the record and overcome the filibuster, or empowering the House Homeland Security Committee's chair and ranking members, Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and John Katko, R-N.Y., to take the lead.
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