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House to hold additional hearings on January 6 attack on the Capitol

Biden on preserving democracy
Biden on preserving democracy 04:49

A House committee will hold additional hearings next week on the attack on the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters on January 6, with testimony expected from the inspectors general of the U.S. Capitol Police and the Architect of the Capitol. The hearings by the Committee on House Administration comes as congressional leaders are negotiating a deal on creating a commission to investigate the attack.

Committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren said in a statement Tuesday that she continues to believe that an independent commission must be established, but said "that will not deter the committee from continuing its work." The committee will hear from Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton on May 10, and Architect of the Capitol Inspector General Christopher Failla on May 12.

Bolton has released a series of reports including findings about preparation ahead of the attack and recommendations for improvement. Lofgren said that the committee received the latest report on Friday, which "focuses on the Department's threat assessment and counter-surveillance operations."

A report from Bolton dated March 1 obtained by CBS News cited multiple "deficiencies" and the department's failure to disseminate intelligence from as early as December 30 that suggested protesters "may be inclined to become violent." That report documented the department's failure to pass along "relevant information obtained from outside sources," and said the department internally disseminated "conflicting intelligence information" in the days leading up to January 6.

"As I have said before, our important, and necessary, review of the Department's performance as an institution and its leadership does not diminish the courage and valor of the men and women who so bravely fought to defend the Capitol on January 6," Lofgren said in a statement announcing the hearings. "The Committee's oversight is intended to make the Capitol Police Department stronger and more effective not just to keep the Capitol and those work here safer – but to keep the men and women who wear its uniform safe, too.  The same is true for all legislative branch employees."

There has also been debate over whether there should be permanent fencing around the Capitol in the wake of the attack. Although fencing around the exterior of the Capitol complex was removed in March, fencing around the interior perimeter of the Capitol building itself remains. The Architect of the Capitol said in February that cleaning up broken glass, doors and graffiti and securing the Capitol after the January 6 attack would cost more than $30 million.

Meanwhile, congressional leaders are continuing to negotiate the creation of an independent commission. Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month proposed a new structure for a commission that would give Democrats and Republicans an equal number of commissioners, after an initial outline for such a panel did not provide equal partisan representation. Republicans had insisted from the outset that the commission be equally split between members appointed by Democrats and Republicans, citing the makeup of the 9/11 commission, which studied the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

There have also been disagreements over the scope of any commission. Pelosi's initial proposal, drafted in February, would create a panel to "conduct an investigation of the relevant facts and circumstances relating to the domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol," comprised of four Republicans and seven Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in February that the panel should either be narrowly focused on the events of January 6 or "potentially do something broader to analyze the full scope of political violence here in our country."

"If Congress is going to attempt some broader analysis of toxic political violence across this country, then in that case, we cannot have artificial cherry-picking of which terrible behavior does and does not deserve scrutiny," McConnell said.

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