Congresswoman Nikema Williams Votes to Establish Independent, Bipartisan Commission to Examine January 6 Domestic Terrorist Attack

May 19, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) voted for H.R. 3233, legislation to establish an independent, bipartisan 9/11-type commission to examine and report upon the facts, causes and security relating to the domestic terrorist attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. The Commission would also be charged with making recommendations to prevent future attacks on our democracy.

“January 6th was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history,” said Congresswoman Williams.  “We witnessed the Confederate Flag being marched through the Capitol for the first time in American history, so as a Black woman I know what message the domestic terrorists were trying to send. This was more than just an attack on our Capitol – it was an assault on our democracy. But terrorists will never win, and our democracy is too strong to be overthrown by white supremacists. Today I voted with pride and patriotism to establish the January 6th Commission so that we can determine all of the facts of that disgraceful day and ensure that such an attack will never happen again. That this Commission was negotiated and passed on a bipartisan basis only four months after the insurrection is a testament to the urgency and importance of its mission.”

On January 6, the United States Capitol was attacked by hundreds of white supremacist domestic terrorists as the Congress voted to validate the results of the presidential election. The storming of the Capitol threatened the lives of Members of Congress, staff, workers and D.C. and Capitol Police – resulting in five deaths, more than 140 injuries to law enforcement officers and lasting terror and trauma. In the wake of the worst attack on our Capitol since the British set the Capitol on fire in 1814, many unanswered questions remain.

That is why the bipartisan leadership of the House Homeland Security Committee worked hard to reach a bipartisan agreement on an independent and impartial commission to investigate the attack and recommend improvements to Capitol security. This Commission closely mirrors the 9/11 Commission and has the endorsement of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission Chairs, Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton.

“We very strongly urge House Members to support H.R. 3233, the bipartisan National Commission to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol Complex,” said Governor Kean and Congressman Hamilton.  “The January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol was one of the darkest days in the history of our country.  Americans deserve an objective and an accurate account of what happened.  As we did in the wake of September 11, it’s time to set aside partisan politics and come together as Americans in common pursuit of truth and justice.”

The Commission will have ten members: five members, including the Chair, appointed by the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader of the Senate; and five, including the Vice Chair, appointed by the Minority Leaders of the House and Senate.  Commissioners must be experts in law enforcement, civil rights and liberties, law, intelligence, or cybersecurity and will be tasked with investigating the facts of the January 6th attack, including the insurrectionists’ operations and motivations as well as the response by local law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

“The United States Capitol is known across the country and around the world as a symbol of democracy, and it is our responsibility to ensure its resilience,” continued Congresswoman Williams. “With this Commission, we live up to that solemn duty – uncovering the truth of the attacks, honoring the Capitol Police who put their lives on the line to protect us and sending the message that the Congress will not be deterred from its work For the People. With its impartial and informed recommendations, we will be able to defend against future terrorist attacks on these sacred grounds and ensure the survival of our democracy.”

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