We’re coming up on six months since the U.S. Capitol was violently attacked by a mob bent on disrupting the peaceful, lawful transfer of presidential power.
While Jan. 6 marked one of the darkest moments in our nation’s history, the forces that culminated inside the Capitol got their start long before that day. Michigan’s Capitol served as a dress rehearsal for the attempted insurrection when armed protesters entered the building on April 30, 2020.
Michigan’s ties to the Jan. 6 attack don’t end there. State officials brought false electors to Lansing in an attempt to undermine the results of our fair and free election. State lawmakers made multiple efforts to override the election results by signing onto lawsuits and letters, and several Michigan residents have been criminally charged for their alleged actions during the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The people of Michigan deserve answers and accountability. Tragically, Congressional efforts to create a truly bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack were unsuccessful despite widespread public support for a full and fair inquiry. It is worth noting that the majority of Michigan’s congressional delegation, including Republican Reps. Fred Upton and Peter Meijer, voted in support of creating such a commission.
I believe it is imperative that Michigan legislators come together in a bipartisan fashion at the state level to provide a full investigation into the role Michigan residents played in the lead up to and execution of the Jan. 6 attack.
Such an investigation is essential for learning the lessons this tragedy has to teach, preventing such attacks on our democratic institutions in the future and ensuring that those responsible are identified and held to account.
A U.S. Senate report spearheaded by Michigan Sen. Gary Peters found there were major failures from federal agencies to prepare for and respond to the attack. This is a good start, but we must do more to uncover Michigan’s unique and multi-faceted role in the deadly attack.
Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich has joined me in officially calling for a bipartisan joint select committee to investigate Michigan’s ties to the U.S. Capitol attack. We delivered a letter to Republican leadership asking that they join us in supporting this inquiry, and I introduced a concurrent resolution to create such a committee. Both are still awaiting action.
When I was sworn into office, I swore an oath to uphold the constitutions of Michigan and the United States — an oath to protect and preserve our form of democratic government. Now is our opportunity to fulfill that oath though fact-finding, truth-seeking and accountability.
I look forward to the opportunity to work across the aisle in an effort to help bring our state together around the truth.
Rep. Donna Lasinski, D-Scio Township, is Democratic Leader for the 101st Legislature.