Surrounded by broken glass in a defaced Capitol on the night of Jan. 6, Speaker Nancy Pelosi conferred with a senior House Republican about a bipartisan commission that would investigate the attack on Congress. Ten weeks later, those talks have all but collapsed.
Pelosi is now eyeing a Plan B: tapping three House committees, run by Democrats, to do their own probe of how a violent, pro-Trump mob managed to overwhelm police and terrorize legislators.
What seemed like a no-brainer at the time — a 9/11-Commission-style review of the origins of the mob, the white nationalists who joined it and the security failures that allowed it to briefly occupy the Capitol — has instead become the latest theater for dysfunction on Capitol Hill as the two parties squabble over the panel’s scope and partisan balance. The commission’s prospects have also dimmed thanks to a relatively well-functioning Senate inquiry that’s already helped provide the sort of answers an independent entity might take months to produce.