Now that House and Senate Republican leaders are coming out against the creation of a 1/6 congressional commission, some on social media are calling for Attorney General Merrick Garland to open an investigation into the attack. But here’s the thing: Merrick Garland and the DOJ are already investigating the Capitol attack from a criminal standpoint. That’s well underway and widely documented.
This congressional commission has only ever really been for show, as congressional proceedings always tend to be. They’re for fact finding and such. It’s not nearly as important as what the DOJ is already doing.
I’m not saying there isn’t value in a congressional fact finding commission. But if they uncover criminal evidence, they’re just going to refer it to the DOJ anyway. And again, the DOJ is already criminally investigating the Capitol attack. Hundreds of arrests prove this.
If the Capitol attack leads criminally to any members of Congress, it’ll be the DOJ that criminally charges them – not a congressional commission. But the media has been hyping the congressional commissions because it’s controversial and thus good for ratings.
And yes, there will be a congressional commission whether McCarthy and McConnell support it or not. This is not a time for doomsday panicking. The Republicans aren’t magically going to “get away with it all” and declining to support this commission isn’t going to give them magical authoritarian powers.
We need to stop letting the media goad us into believing that “all hope is lost” every time the Republicans do something antithetical and weird. It’s clear that the Republicans have no idea what they’re even trying to do. Meanwhile, the DOJ is already doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, which is to bust everyone involved in the bottom rung of the Capitol attack, get some of them to flip on people further up the chain, and then flip those people on the ringleaders. It takes time, but it’s the only way these things work.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report