Since the immediate aftermath of January 6, when a mob of pro-Trump extremists stormed the United States Capitol to overturn the results of the 2020 election, Democratic lawmakers—along with some Republicans—have called for a bipartisan commission to investigate the conditions and events leading up to the violent insurrection.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill establishing the commission Wednesday night, and while it's expected to pass, a majority of House Republicans will likely vote against it. This is despite major concessions from Democrats to garner Republican support, such as an equal number of Republican appointments and granting subpoena power to Republican members.
Nevertheless, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has said he won't support the legislation. After former President Donald Trump, whose lies about the 2020 election prompted the insurrection, voiced his opposition to the legislation, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) came out in opposition to it as well, signaling a major hurdle in getting the legislation to pass both chambers.
Though the lives of every lawmaker in the Capitol were threatened on January 6, no one experienced the horrors of that day as vividly as Capitol and D.C. Metro police officers, who were tasked with keeping the insurrectionists away from lawmakers.
Now, a scathing anonymous letter purported to be from members of the Capitol Police condemns Republicans in both chambers for their opposition to the commission.
The letter reads in part:
"We members of the United States Capitol Police write this letter to express our profound disappointment with recent comments from both chambers' minority leaders expressing no need for a January 6th commission. The brave men and women of the USCP were subjected to hours and hours of physical trauma which has led to months of mental anguish."
"It is inconceivable that some of the Members we protect, would downplay the events of January 6th. Member safety was dependent upon the heroic actions of USCP. It is a privileged assumption for Members to have the point of view that 'It wasn't that bad'. That privilege exists because the brave men and women of the USCP protected you, the members."
Politico congressional reporter Olivia Beavers later provided an official statement from the USCP regarding the letter:
"A statement is circling on social media, which expresses an opinion about the proposed legislation to create a commission to investigate January 6. This is NOT an official USCP statement. The Department has no way of confirming it was even authored by USCP personnel. The U.S. Capitol Police does NOT take positions on legislation."
Republican lawmakers have repeatedly downplayed the events at the Capitol and the part Republican election conspiracies played in sparking the insurrection. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) absurdly claimed antifa was responsible for the riots. Congressman Andrew Clyde (R-GA) said the footage from that day resembled a "normal tourist visit."
While the letter's origins are still being confirmed, social media users soon began calling out the hypocrisy of supposedly pro-police lawmakers' opposition to the commission.
Some are already considering ways around the Republicans' bulwark against investigating the Capitol riots.
Capitol Police officers have already reported ongoing mental anguish as a result of the riots.