The un-American and criminally violent attack against the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 is a day that will live in infamy.
It was an attack against American democracy. It was an attack against the integrity of American elections. It was an attack against the peaceful transfer of power after an honest election, which is the difference between democracy and dictatorship. It was a criminal attack against every member of the House and Senate who came in contact with the seditious criminals and against every member of the House and Senate, every American, and everyone throughout the world who believes in freedom and democracy.
The attack against the Capitol on Jan. 6 was an attempted coup d’etat, in support of a defeated candidate who called on them to come to Washington and march to the Capitol to “fight” for the big lie that he won the election, and seek to pressure Congress to vote to overturn that election and install the loser as president.
Hours after criminals breached the sanctity of the Capitol, more than one half of House Republicans, on that day that will live infamy that historians will write about for centuries, voted to give the violent insurrectionists their wish and overturn the Electoral College vote.
This crime against Americanism should have been investigated by a nonpartisan independent commission similar to the highly respected 9-11 commission. When House and Senate Republicans went to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats seek to cool simmering tensions Louisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid House Democrats unveil legislation to curtail presidential power MORE (Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerLouisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in McConnell signals Senate GOP will oppose combined debt ceiling-funding bill MORE (N.Y.), the Democratic leaders agreed to every GOP request to guarantee that the commission would be nonpartisan and fair.
Thirty-five House Republicans and seven Senate Republicans supported the nonpartisan commission, which passed the House. Despite the support of 57 senators, it was defeated in the Senate by a filibuster— a subject I will discuss soon including a strong and direct discussion of the filibuster views of President BidenJoe BidenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks GOP Rep. Cawthorn likens vaccine mandates to 'modern-day segregation' MORE and two Democratic senators, based on whatever views they hold when I write that column.
Today I call on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Woodward: Milley was 'setting in motion sensible precautions' with calls to China MORE (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyWoodward: Milley was 'setting in motion sensible precautions' with calls to China Thompson says he hopes Jan 6. committee can complete work by 'early spring' Juan Williams: Shame on the anti-mandate Republicans MORE (R-Calif.), who had an important conversation with former President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE while the insurrection was in progress and would be a material witness to any investigation, to support a re-vote and pass the nonpartisan Jan. 6 commission.
Given her options Pelosi handled the situation fairly and masterfully. She created a House select committee to investigate the matter. She named Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in Thompson says he hopes Jan 6. committee can complete work by 'early spring' Jan. 6 committee taps former Bush administration official as top lawyer MORE (D-Miss.), who has a history of treating Republicans fairly, as Homeland Security chairman and named Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in Trump, allies launch onslaught as midterms kick into gear The Memo: Never Trumpers sink into gloom as Gonzalez bows out MORE (R-Wyo.) to play a leading role and Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerThe Memo: Never Trumpers sink into gloom as Gonzalez bows out Kinzinger says Trump 'winning' because many Republicans 'have remained silent' 'Justice for J6' rally puts GOP in awkward spot MORE (R-Ill.) to play an important role.
The select committee will conduct itself in a fair and nonpartisan manner, which was a condition for Cheney and Kinzinger accepting their roles.
Since the big lies about the election are now backed by big lies about the committee, let’s be clear about one thing. Cheney is a Reagan Republican, a fervent patriot, a true and devout conservative who I usually disagree with about policy but consider a leader of integrity, honor and political courage.
Cheney would never meet a Russian dictator who is attacking America and say she believes Russian intelligence more than Americans defending our country. When she said yesterday that the Jan. 6 insurrection was a cancer on our republic, truer words were never spoken. I have no doubt, Ronald Reagan would be proud of her principle, fearlessness, patriotism and honor standing up for American democracy today, alongside Democrats she almost always disagrees with philosophically.
Pelosi is Ms. Democrat, an FDR Democrat, a Democrat in the tradition of great Democratic presidents and Speakers throughout the ages.
Pelosi knows well our people demand a fair, nonpartisan investigation, which they will get under her leadership. Pelosi, Cheney, Kinzinger and every member of the committee will seek, and get, the truth. The only people who should fear them are the guilty.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives.