Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause President
No American is above the law, not the president, not the ex-president, nor any of their advisors. The American people expect and deserve to know the truth about the insurrection on January 6th, why it happened, and who was behind it. Today’s vote to find Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress will help ensure we learn the truth about the events of that bloody attempt to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 election.
But it is disgraceful how few Republicans voted to enforce congressional subpoena power and hold Steve Bannon in contempt for refusing to comply with subpoenas about his role in, and knowledge of, the bloody attempt to topple our government. This is not a partisan issue. This is an investigation of a day when a racist, armed, and angry mob stormed the United States Capitol and set about searching the halls for Members of Congress. That insurrectionist mob left dead and wounded in their wake, yet House Republicans today voted against getting to the truth behind that terrible day.
Sadly, today’s vote reveals just how far the Republican Party has fallen. Congressional Republicans proved again that they would rather parrot the baseless lies about the 2020 election by former-President Trump than risk incurring his wrath – regardless of the damage. Americans expect their elected officials to put their duty to their country before their political party. Today, the majority of House Republicans chose to put their party, or at least their fear of their party’s de facto leader, before the oath of office they swore to their nation.
The vote, like the insurrection itself and the destructive presidency of Donald Trump, highlighted the critical need to pass and enact the Protecting Our Democracy Act to provide greater checks and balances to the powers of the presidency while creating new mechanisms for transparency and accountability. The comprehensive legislation will curb the rampant abuses of power we saw during the Trump years and it will promote orderly presidential transitions between administrations, to help prevent another day of infamy like January 6th. The Speaker of the House indicated today that a vote on the legislation could come in November, and we urge its passage.