(WASHINGTON) — The Project On Government Oversight applauds today’s bipartisan vote by the House of Representatives to establish the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. This select committee is necessary to understand the multiple factors and actors that led to that calamitous day, and to recommend reforms to prevent such an assault on our democracy from ever happening again.
POGO would have preferred that a nonpartisan committee to investigate the events of January 6 be created, but the bipartisan proposal to do so was filibustered in the Senate. The failure of some politicians to act cannot and should not mean the American people are kept in the dark about what led to the attack on our democracy.
But today’s vote is only the first step to having a full understanding of the events that transpired on that day. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) must exercise her power to ensure members serving on the committee are not part of a faction of lawmakers who may be implicated in the committee's investigation or who are determined to undermine the investigation. The House of Representatives should be prepared and willing to explore all options to enforce the committee’s subpoenas for witnesses and documents if recipients are uncooperative. Further, the executive branch must cooperate with the committee’s investigations, and put the good of the country and our democracy ahead of its reflexive tendency to defend presidential power.
“The attack on the Capitol was an attack on the very foundations of our democracy. Congress has a long track record of taking up difficult investigations like the one now before the select committee. The actions of the committee’s members will show the American people whether they are up to the grave task before them,” said Danielle Brian, POGO’s executive director.
Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that investigates and exposes waste, corruption, abuse of power, and when the government fails to serve the public or silences those who report wrongdoing.