The Corner

What Do We Need a January 6 Commission For?

Supporters of President Trump face off with police during a “Stop the Steal” protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington D.C., January 6, 2021. (Stephanie Keith/Reuters)

Senate Republicans today blocked an independent, bipartisan commission to inquire into the January 6 Capitol riot. This will not prevent Congress from conducting its own investigation, but it will be an openly partisan probe rather than one that offers the appearance — and maybe the reality, depending who you ask — of fairness and balance. It’s worth thinking through what purposes a commission would serve.

On the one hand, we do not need a commission to publicize the events of January 6. We do not need a commission to draw conclusions about public events (such as the actions of Donald Trump

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