Hollingsworth supports Capitol riot investigation

One Indiana Congressman was among 35 House Republicans who joined Democrats in voting to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, who represents Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District including Johnson County, voted in favor of creating the commission to investigate the riots by supporters of former President Donald Trump at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Democrats say an independent investigation is crucial to reckoning what happened that day, when a violent mob of Trump’s supporters smashed into the Capitol to try and overturn President Joe Biden’s victory.

Modeled after the investigation into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the legislation would establish an independent, 10-member commission that would make recommendations by the end of the year for securing the Capitol and preventing another insurrection.

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday 252-175, with 35 Republicans voting with Democrats in support of the commission, defying Trump and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy. Trump issued a statement urging Republicans to vote against it, calling the legislation a “Democrat trap.”

The January insurrection has become an increasingly fraught topic for Republicans, with a growing number in the party downplaying the severity of the worst attack on the Capitol in more than 200 years. While most Republicans voted against forming the commission, only a few spoke on the floor against it. And the handful of Republicans who backed the commission spoke forcefully.

Hollingsworth was the only Indiana Republican in the House to support the proposed investigation.

He said in a statement Thursday this vote was an easy choice for him. He supports an investigation because he upholds defending the law enforcement officers attacked on Jan. 6, and if the House did not pass a bipartisan investigation, the Democrats would move forward with their own anyway.

“I will absolutely investigate attacks on officers to the fullest extent. I will always uphold the rule of law and defend our men and women in blue, so we are left with only two choices: A bipartisan investigation with an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, or a Pelosi commission focused on repeating the media’s narrative," Hollingsworth said in the statement.

“That’s an easy choice for me.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called McCarthy’s opposition to the commission “cowardice.” She released a February letter from the GOP leader in which he asked for an even split of Democrats and Republican commissioners, equal subpoena power and no predetermined findings or conclusions. The bipartisan legislation accommodates all three of those requests, she said.

“Leader McCarthy won’t take yes for an answer,” she said.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is trying to prevent defections among his own ranks, echoing McCarthy’s opposition in a Senate floor speech Wednesday morning.

In the Senate, McConnell’s announcement dimmed the prospects for passage, as Democrats would need at least ten Republicans to vote with them. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., vowed to force a vote on the bill, charging that Republicans are “caving” to Trump.

Schumer said that Republicans are trying to “sabotage the commission” and are “drunk” off Trump’s baseless claim that the election was stolen from him. That false assertion, repeated by the mob as the rioters broke into the Capitol, has been rebuked by numerous courts, bipartisan election officials across the country and Trump’s own attorney general.

Like in the House, some Senate Republicans have suggested they will support the legislation.

<em>The Associated Press contributed to this report.</em>