Senate Republicans block probe of Capitol riot

"Shame on the Republican party for trying to sweep the horrors of that day under the rug because they're afraid of Donald Trump.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday blasted his Republican colleagues for voting against the advancement of a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the Capitol by supporters of then-president Donald Trump.

The measure failed by a vote of 54 to 35. The 35 no votes were all Republicans.

Democrats and some moderate Republicans had called for an independent commission to probe the events surrounding the January 6th storming of the Capitol - when hundreds of Trump supporters smashed their way into Congress, fighting police, and urging violence against lawmakers… delaying the formal certification of President Joe Biden's election victory.

The violence left five people dead including a Capitol Police officer.

Schumer on Friday said the Republican ‘no vote’ came from a place of fear:

“Senate Republicans for months publicly supported the idea of a commission. But now all of a sudden, the Senate minority and the Senate minority leader waged a partisan filibuster against the bill. This vote has made it official. Donald Trump's big lie has now fully enveloped the Republican Party.”

The proposed commission would have had the power to force witnesses, possibly including Trump, to testify under oath about what happened that day.

Trump had urged lawmakers to vote against it.…as did Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell:

“There's no new fact about that day we need the Democrat’s extraneous commission to uncover.”

McConnell had argued a commission would have duplicated work done by other congressional committees, as well as a sweeping federal criminal investigation that has so far resulted in the arrests of more than 440 people.

Voting rights activist Stacey Abrams tweeted that Republicans blocked the probe to "appease insurrectionists” as legislators push anti-voting bills across the country.

Republicans are concerned that a commission focusing on January 6th - and Trump’s false claims on the 2020 election - would hurt them during next year’s midterm congressional elections.

The White House on Friday said Biden remains committed to a full, independent investigation of the riots.