Poll: Americans split on Jan. 6 commission

Supporters of then-President Trump storm the Capitol on Jan. 6
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Voters are split on whether Congress should launch its own investigation into the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill. 

Fifty-two percent of respondents say that the riot by a mob of former President Trump’s supporters warrants a congressional investigation. Conversely, 48 percent believe that the current FBI investigations into the attack are sufficient.

The House passed a bill last week that would create a 10-person bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack, sending the measure to the Senate where it faces slim chances of passing. 

Several Republican lawmakers once appeared open to forming such a commission, raising hopes that the legislation would win approval. But those hopes dimmed last week when a number of top Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), came out in opposition to the commission.

Only 35 House Republicans voted in favor of the measure last week. 

GOP opponents of the commission argue that it will be used as a political weapon against Republicans and fear that it will drag the issue of the Jan. 6 riot into the 2022 midterms. There are also concerns among Republicans that supporting the creation of such a commission could anger Trump, who has spoken publicly against the idea.

The current divide among voters over whether a congressional investigation is needed to get to the bottom of the attack largely falls along party lines. Sixty-nine percent of Democrats say they support such a commission compared with 38 percent of Republicans.

Conversely, 62 percent of Republicans believe that the FBI and Justice Department investigations are sufficient, a view shared by only 31 percent of Democrats. Independent voters, meanwhile, were split 50-50 on the matter.

“The commission is simply seen as a partisan political football as the country is simply split on partisan lines in their view of the commission,” said Mark Penn, director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey of 1,945 registered voters was conducted from May 19-20. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

Tags 2020 election Capitol riot Donald Trump January 6 commission Mark Penn Mitch McConnell
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