Republican lawmakers block bill to investigate deadly Jan. 6 riot at Capitol

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans on Friday blocked the creation of a bipartisan panel to study the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, refusing to back down on their opposition to the independent investigation even amid emotional appeals from those who fought with and fled from the rioters that day.


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The Senate vote was 54-35 — short of the 60 votes needed to consider a House-passed bill that would have formed a 10-member commission evenly split between the two parties. The vote was another sign of GOP fealty to former President Donald Trump and an overtly political effort to shift the focus off of the violent insurrection of his supporters.

FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo rioters loyal to President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Arguments begin Tuesday, Feb. 9, in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump on allegations that he incited the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. People charged in the attack on the U.S. Capitol left behind a trove of videos and messages that have helped federal authorities build cases. In nearly half of the more than 200 federal cases stemming from the attack, authorities have cited evidence that an insurrectionist appeared to have been inspired by conspiracy theories or extremist ideologies, according to an Associated Press review of court records. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
Courtesy: United States Attorney’s Office, NDOH
Courtesy: United States Attorney’s Office, NDOH
Courtesy: United States Attorney’s Office, NDOH
In this image taken from police body camera video and released in a criminal complaint by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Derek Jancart, circled in red by the source, joins other rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Jancart, of Ohio, was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 23, and accused of entering the U.S. Capitol after family members and a former coworker identified him in footage captured during the deadly insurrection, according to U.S. District Court documents. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia via AP)
In this image taken from Capitol building security camera footage and released in a criminal complaint by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Derek Jancart, circled in red by the source, joins other rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Jancart, of Ohio, was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 23, and accused of entering the U.S. Capitol after family members and a former coworker identified him in footage captured during the deadly insurrection, according to U.S. District Court documents. (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia via AP)
FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. People charged in the attack on the U.S. Capitol left behind a trove of videos and messages that have helped federal authorities build cases. In nearly half of the more than 200 federal cases stemming from the attack, authorities have cited evidence that an insurrectionist appeared to have been inspired by conspiracy theories or extremist ideologies, according to an Associated Press review of court records. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
Rioters at the US Capitol during the insurrection, January 6, 2021 (Nexstar)
FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo rioters loyal to President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Arguments begin Tuesday, Feb. 9, in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump on allegations that he incited the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. Congress is set to hear from former security officials about what went wrong at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. That’s when when a violent mob laid siege to the Capitol and interrupted the counting of electoral votes. Three of the four testifying Tuesday resigned under pressure immediately after the attack, including the former head of the Capitol Police. Much is still unknown about the attack, and lawmakers are demanding answers. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
Police officers in riot gear line up as protesters gather on the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Pro-Trump protesters entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation’s capital during a joint session Congress to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. Right-wing extremism has previously mostly played out in isolated pockets of America or in smaller cities. In contrast, the deadly attack by rioters on the U.S. Capitol targeted the very heart of government. It brought together members of disparate groups, creating the opportunity for extremists to establish links with each other. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
Police officers in riot gear walks towards the U.S. Capitol as protesters enter the building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation’s capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 16: An area closed sign is posted on fencing outside the U.S. Capitol on January 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation’s capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 15: VA National Guard stands outside the razor wire fencing that surrounds the US Capitol on January 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week’s Capitol Riot the FBI has warned of additional threats against the US Capitol and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Liz Lynch/Getty Images)
Multiple media outlets have identified Jenny Cudd as one of the rioters involved in the occupation of the Capitol on Wednesday. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Pro-Trump rioters wave the Confederate flag and climb on a statue at the US Capitol, January 7, 2021 (Nexstar)
Demonstrators break TV equipment outside the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Though the Jan. 6 commission bill passed the House earlier this month with the support of almost three dozen Republicans, GOP senators said they believe the commission would eventually be used against them politically. And Trump, who still has a firm hold on the party, has called it a “Democrat trap.”


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The vote is emblematic of the profound mistrust between the two parties since the siege, especially among Republicans, as some in the party have downplayed the violence and defended the rioters who supported Trump and his false insistence that the election was stolen from him.

Four people died in the riot, and a police officer collapsed and died afterward of what authorities said were natural causes. Two police officers took their own lives in the days after the riots.

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