Senate Republicans blocked the establishment of a bipartisan panel to investigate the Capitol riot
Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff said that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy would have denied the September 11th terrorist attacks if it meant he could have avoided a Democratic commission from investigating the tragedy.
Mr Schiff made the comments on CNN on Monday.
“Had Kevin McCarthy been the leader then, there would have been no 9/11 commission. There would have been an effort to persuade the country that it didn’t happen, or it’s overblown, or who knows what the explanation would have been,” he said.
The remark was made while Mr Schiff was discussing Republican efforts to sideline investigations into the Capitol riot.
Senate Republicans blocked the creation of a bipartisan panel to investigate the insurrection, arguing that an investigation was not necessary due to other inquiries, like the House select committee’s hearings that began this week.
“You could have made the same point after 9/11: Do we really need an investigation?” Mr Schiff said.
He said that the 9/11 commission revealed much more information beyond simply who committed the act, and that a similar panel investigating the Capitol riot could have unearthed similar facts.
“Don’t we know what happened? Don’t we know that Al Qaeda attacked us, and they used aircraft? What more is there to learn?” Mr Schiff asked rhetorically.
“Of course, there was a lot more to learn about why this happened and why we weren’t able to stop it, and what future threat was posed by Al Qaeda, and what reforms and changes we needed to make to our intelligence collection and collaboration among agencies. And we approached that task in a bipartisan way.”
He claimed that though the 9/11 commission did face some initial pushback, there were “enough people of good will in both parties to overcome that”.
“But that Republican Party that was willing to do that in 2001 and 2002 is not Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” Mr Schiff said.
Mr McCarthy has complained about the House select committee organised by House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who rejected two of his picks for the panel. Ms Pelosi rejected Congressmen Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, both men who opposed the electoral vote count on 6 January and both who are stalwart Trump allies.
The Republican leader told Ms Pelosi that her rejections were “unprecedented” during a heated phone call after she declined to include the lawmakers.
“The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision,” Ms Pelosi said when questioned about the call.
She said that because the commission was focused on finding the truth of what happened on 6 January, the two Republican allies of Trump would not be welcome on the panel.