WASHINGTON (AP) — In the nonetheless shaken and closely guarded U.S. Capitol, hundreds of National Guard troops nonetheless wander the halls. Glass home windows stay damaged. Doors swing with out handles. And within the grand marble hallways, which amplified the shouts of insurrectionists simply over a month in the past, there’s an uncomfortable silence.
The finish of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is simply the start of Congress’ reckoning with the Jan. 6 assault, a violent ransacking of the Capitol that resulted in 5 deaths. While the Senate has spoken on Trump’s function within the violence, acquitting him of revolt after a wrenching 5 days of impeachment testimony, lawmakers who fled the violent mob are nonetheless demanding solutions. How, they ask, might safety might have failed so catastrophically? And how can they guarantee it doesn’t occur once more?
“This is not a moment where we pivot and move on,” Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy stated Saturday, simply after the acquittal vote within the impeachment trial. “You cannot view today as the last page of the book. What we were talking about today was the accountability for the leader of the mob. But we still have to protect against future mobs, we still have to go after members of the mob.”
The coming weeks — and sure the approaching months and years — will pressure lawmakers to work by the numerous unanswered questions in regards to the assault. It’s a fancy job that may check whether or not lawmakers can put aside partisanship, which flared anew throughout the impeachment course of, and switch the harrowing violence that threatened their lives right into a restorative second for his or her establishment.
Since Saturday’s vote, Democratic leaders have stated they may take steps to type an unbiased investigative fee modeled after one which studied safety failures earlier than the 9/11 assaults. Two Senate committees have summoned high safety officers to testify, the start of a complete have a look at what went flawed. Separately, retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré is main an ongoing evaluate of the Capitol’s safety course of, commissioned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And a number of different panels are trying into totally different points of the revolt, together with intelligence lapses and whether or not it was coordinated.
“Security is the order of the day,” Pelosi stated in a letter to her House colleagues on Monday. “The security of our country, the security of our Capitol which is the temple of our democracy, and the security of our members.”
Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, one among seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump, stated Sunday that there ought to be a “complete investigation” into what occurred. “What was known, who knew it and when they knew, all that, because that builds the basis so this never happens again,” he stated.
Legislation to arrange the fee may very well be launched within the House as quickly as this week, based on an individual conversant in the method and granted anonymity to debate the planning. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is predicted to help the fee, and a spokesman stated Tuesday that he “looks forward to it being approved by both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support.”
At the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki stated President Joe Biden helps it as effectively. Biden “backs efforts to shed additional light on the facts to ensure something like that never happens again,” she stated.
In her letter to Democratic colleagues, Pelosi stated the House can even put forth supplemental spending to spice up safety on the Capitol.
The first congressional hearings will come subsequent week, with two Senate panels calling within the former chief of Capitol Police and the previous heads of safety for the House and Senate, all three of whom resigned instantly after the assault.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Rules Committee introduced Tuesday that that they had invited former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, former Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger and former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving to the listening to, together with Robert Contee, the chief of the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department. The listening to will start a broad examination of the safety failures that led to the breach.
In addition to the Feb. 23 listening to, the 2 committees are urgent for info from virtually two dozen companies and departments in regards to the response.
The safety breakdown on Jan. 6, because the House and Senate met for a joint session to depend electoral votes, was extreme. The Capitol Police had deliberate for a free speech demonstration, not a violent revolt by Trump supporters to overturn the election. With the diminished safety presence, the rioters not solely breached the Capitol however entered the Senate chamber minutes after senators had fled. The rioters additionally tried to interrupt by the doorways of the House chamber with lawmakers nonetheless inside. Outside, they engaged in hand-to-hand fight with an outnumbered, ill-prepared Capitol Police pressure, which was ultimately assisted by D.C. police.
The performing chief of the Capitol Police, Yogananda Pittman, has acknowledged the division knew earlier than Jan. 6 that extremists and white supremacists may very well be within the crowd outdoors the Capitol. But she and different leaders are nonetheless pointing fingers about who was chargeable for not bolstering safety.
The hearings and investigations — which can be carried out in each the House and Senate by a number of committees — are anticipated to assist inform choices in regards to the extensive perimeter across the constructing that has been in place since Jan. 6. The present of pressure has additionally angered D.C. residents who must navigate blocked-off roads, and it has pissed off some lawmakers in each events who consider the constructing ought to be open to the general public.
Outside of Congress, federal legislation enforcement has arrested greater than 200 individuals who broke into the Capitol, and others have instructed that Trump himself may very well be criminally answerable for his efforts to influence officers to vary election outcomes and encourage his supporters to overturn his defeat.
In a blistering speech that got here instantly after his vote to acquit Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pinned duty for the riots on Trump and stated he didn’t “yet” get away with something. “We have a criminal justice system in this country, we have civil litigation,” McConnell stated.
Still, contained in the constructing, persons are nonetheless coping with the aftermath.
Maine Sen. Angus King, an Independent who voted to convict the previous president, stated he’s most frightened about presidents who come after Trump, and what classes they may take from the Senate’s choice to acquit. “I do feel sad,” he stated. “This gave us an opportunity for closure which we missed.”
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski mirrored on the sights and sounds she heard on Jan. 6 as she walked out of the chamber after the vote. Like Cassidy, she was one of many seven Republicans who voted to convict.
“It hits me,” Murkowski stated in an interview with Politico, remembering the trash that scattered the identical flooring she was strolling on as she spoke. “I hear the sound of the of the Capitol Police officer who was retching in the bathroom because he had just gotten sprayed with pepper spray and was trying to wash it out. … We’re all witnesses to this. And you have to bear witness to it, I guess.”
Associated Press writers Josh Boak and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to turn into a founding member and assist form HuffPost’s subsequent chapter