Terri Sewell breaks with delegation on Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection commission

Police hold off Trump supporters who tried to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepares to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people have gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Several Alabama leaders have expressed opinions on the call for an investigation into the Jan. 6th insurrection. On Wednesday, the House voted to create an independent commission to investigate the attack on the Capitol that was an attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election win over Donald Trump. In January, former President Trump was impeached for a second time by the House and was charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly attempt. All of Alabama’s congressmen, except for Terri Sewell, voted against the commission.

H.R. 3233 states that the commission must:

(1) conduct an investigation of the relevant facts and circumstances relating to the attack on the Capitol;

(2) identify, review, and evaluate the causes of and the lessons learned from this attack; and

(3) submit specified reports containing findings, conclusions, and recommendations to improve the detection, prevention, preparedness for, and response to targeted violence and domestic terrorism and improve the security posture of the U.S. Capitol Complex.

Rep. Mike Rogers commented in a statement, “I cannot vote in favor of a partisan commission that will not look at all political violence against Members of Congress and Capitol Police. For example, on June 14th, 2017, several of my colleagues, including Steve Scalise, were nearly assassinated at a Republican Congressional baseball practice by a radical ideologue. On April 2nd, 2021 Police Officer Billy Evans was killed in an attack at the Capitol by another extremist. Yet neither of these horrific attacks of political violence would be investigated under this legislation. As with the militarization of the Capitol complex, Speaker Pelosi is only interested in political theater – this useless legislation only adds to it.”

Rep. Terri Sewell broke with the rest of the delegation and released a statement. “The violent assault on the U.S. Capitol that occurred on January 6th marked a dark day in America’s history. As I was lying on the floor in the House Chamber huddled with other Members of Congress, struggling to fit on a gas mask and fearing the impending violence, I trembled and wept not only for our safety but for the future of our democracy. While we managed to escape unharmed, I was devastated to learn that the mob, incited by President Trump, caused the deaths of five Americans including one Capitol Police officer.”

“While hundreds of prosecutions are underway, many unanswered questions remain about how such an attack could have happened,” continued Sewell. “For months, scores of national security professionals and patriotic Americans on both sides of the aisle have been calling for a 9/11-style commission to investigate this attack, and I am proud to join my colleagues in voting to make such a commission a reality. Such an unprecedented assault on our democracy demands nothing less.”

On Twitter, she wrote, “In addition to the tragic loss of life, the insurrection resulted in damage to the Capitol Complex and trauma for Members, staff, employees, & Capitol Police. Today I voted for funding to address these costs & secure our Capitol. This cannot happen again.”