WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and how to better defend the U.S. Capitol complex and democratic institutions going forward, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is calling for legislation to establish a ‘January 6 Capitol Insurrection Commission.’

Reed, the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the U.S. Capitol Police, says the events of January 6 were a systemic security, preparedness, and intelligence failure.  He says he is committed to making federal dollars available to establish and staff an independent investigative commission, styled after the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, which was enacted less than a year after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.

Reed says it is critical for the commission to be able to access evidence, including video and communications by key parties involved, and have subpoena power to compel witness cooperation.  Senator Reed is advocating for the independent commission to be able to take both private testimony and hold public hearings.

“The American people deserve to know the truth about the insurrection of January 6, what caused it and how it came to be.  The independent investigation must further examine the critical role of then-President Trump in relation to that event,” said Senator Reed.  “An independent commission with the appropriate directive, capacity, and resources is essential to get at the facts, establish a timeline, and ensure corrective action is taken to better defend the U.S. Capitol and help safeguard other democratic institutions.  There were massive security and intelligence failings leading up to that day and we need to know who is responsible and ensure they are held accountable.  Since this was a direct attack on Congress, the investigation should ideally be led by an independent commission that strictly follows the facts, wherever they may lead.  The commission’s work should run parallel to ongoing criminal investigations and must be conducted in a deliberate, expeditious manner.”

Senator Reed, who is also an ex officio member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is calling for the independent panel to scrutinize how the attack unfolded, lessons learned about the federal government’s preparedness, and what the U.S government can do better to safeguard the Capitol complex and prevent future attacks.