Pelosi mulls committee to investigate U.S. Capitol attack

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to announce this week whether she will create a select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, her spokesperson tweeted. Several news outlets, including CBS News, initially reported that Pelosi had told some House Democrats that she would create a committee to investigate the attack, citing a source familiar with her comments.   

This comes after Senate Republicans last month blocked what had been considered a bipartisan effort to create an independent 9/11-style commission.

The difference between an independent commission and a select committee is that Democrats will have control of the committee, although it will have the same party breakdown of members as an independent commission. Since they will have more members, Democrats will also control the subpoena power of the committee. Select committees are created by a resolution to conduct investigations or consider measures, usually on a specific topic.

Previous select committees were created to investigate incidents such as the 2012 Benghazi attack and the 1987 Iran-Contra scandal.

Both parties initially called for the creation of an independent, 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6 attack. Five people died in the melee, including a Capitol police officer whose death was later ruled to be caused by natural causes.

A bipartisan bill passed the Democrat-controlled House in May, but it failed to pass the GOP-controlled Senate. Five senators — Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse — voted with Democrats, all but one of whom voted to impeach former President Trump in February over his actions on January 6.