6 months after deadly attack on U.S. Capitol, state Dems renew call for investigation

By: - July 6, 2021 2:20 pm

The Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection | Alex Kent

Six months have passed since the pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and state Democrats continue to advocate for a bipartisan committee to investigate Michigan’s ties to the attack. 

“I hope that more people will remember not just on Jan. 6 that there was an insurrection, but that over the last six months we haven’t done anything that makes sure that the people who did that six months ago are punished and that they know that they cannot do it ever again,” Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) said during a press conference Tuesday. “Because, believe me, people who started will only continue to elevate until we say that it’s unacceptable.”

Last month, House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.) introduced House Concurrent Resolution 10, which would create a bipartisan committee to investigate Michigan’s ties to the insurrection.

The resolution was immediately referred to the House Committee on Government Operations, where bills traditionally go to die, and has yet to garner support from Republican legislators. 


Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) spokesperson Abby Walls said that Shirkey believes “that any investigation of criminal wrongdoing is best left with the appropriate law enforcement.”

A spokesperson for House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) did not respond to a request to comment on HCR 10 and if he will support it. 

The proposed committee would be made up of six senators and six representatives, split evenly between the parties. 

Through the committee, House Democrats are aiming to hold accountable not only those who were present and participated in the insurrection, but also those who played a role in spreading misinformation about the validity of the Nov. 3 general election.

The Michigan Legislative Black Caucus (MLBC) shared their support for HCR 10 Tuesday. 

“We just celebrated Independence Day, yet we’re reminded of threats to our democracy as we reach the six-month anniversary of the violent, deadly attack in Washington, D.C.,” said Sen. Marshall Bullock (D-Detroit), MLBC chair. “Sadly, Michiganders played a unique and multi-faceted role in the insurrection.”

Lasinski said that there were likely direct ties between the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the armed protest at the state Capitol on April 30, 2020, where militia groups and anti-Gov. Gretchen Whitmer protesters stormed inside the building and loomed over lawmakers during session. Lasinski called the protest the “dress rehearsal” for the attack on the U.S. Capitol. 


“We are wanting to understand that broad role that Michigan played in testing out many of the techniques to overturn the election, to delay the peaceful transfer of power, to bring militia groups at the steps of our Capitol and then to our nation’s Capitol and understand what the linkages are,” she said. 

 Lasinski and Hollier pointed to a  number of political leaders and legislators who played a role spreading the myth that election fraud cost former President Donald Trump the 2020 election. 

In December, a group of Republican activists, including state lawmakers, attempted to enter the Capitol to submit a fake GOP elector slate while Michigan’s 16 presidential electors gathered in the building to cast their ballots formalizing the state’s vote for President Joe Biden.

The Democrats also pointed to the plot to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which was uncovered and quashed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in October, saying that the threats of violence in Michigan mirrored what happened in Washington, D.C. 

“The reason that it’s so important for us to have a bipartisan investigation is so that we can actually come to the real facts of what did happen, who was leading these kinds of things and how do we prevent them from doing the same, because we’re looking forward into another election where we expect similar level of misinformation,” Hollier said. 


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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue is a former Michigan Advance reporter who covered education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8.