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Letter to White House and Hill Leadership: Investigating the U.S. Capitol Assault

The Honorable Joseph Biden
President of the United States
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Kamala Harris
Vice President of the United States
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Republican Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear President Biden, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, and Leaders Schumer, McConnell, and McCarthy:

The shocking and tragic assault of January 6th on the U.S. Capitol requires thorough investigation, to ensure that the American people learn the truth of what happened that day. An investigation should establish a single narrative and set of facts to identify how the Capitol was left vulnerable, as well as corrective actions to make the institution safe again. An investigation should also identify measures to strengthen the Congress. Those include broader reforms to build trust and the capacity of the Congress to address the nation’s problems. We believe deeply that a strong, resilient, and responsive Congress is essential for our system of government to work as the American people deserve.

Whether to conduct, and how to structure, such an investigation is up to the Congress. Should the Congress decide to proceed, we offer the following suggestions. A bipartisan, independent investigation will earn credibility with the American public. So will professional staff chosen for their expertise, not political affiliation. Adequate time and sufficient resources for such an effort are essential. An investigation should also have the authority (through subpoena power) to interview witnesses and review all documents, videos, communications and computer media it requires. A public report will build support for recommendations. Taken together, such steps will enable the Congress and its investigation to succeed.

Our country has been wounded. A full accounting of the events of January 6th and the identification of measures to strengthen the Congress can help our country heal.

We commend this course of action to you.

Sincerely,

Thomas H. Kean,
9/11 Commission Chair

Lee H. Hamilton,
9/11 Commission Vice Chair

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