WASHINGTON — Four months after supporters of President Donald J. Trump stormed the Capitol in a deadly riot, a growing number of Republicans in Congress are mounting a wholesale effort to rewrite the history of what happened on Jan. 6, downplaying or outright denying the violence and deflecting efforts to investigate it.
Their denialism — which has intensified for weeks and was on vivid display this week at a pair of congressional hearings — is one reason that lawmakers have been unable to agree on forming an independent commission to scrutinize the assault on the Capitol. Republicans have insisted that any inquiry include an examination of violence by antifa, a loose collective of antifascist activists, and Black Lives Matter. It also reflects an embrace of misinformation that has become a hallmark of the Republican Party in the age of Mr. Trump.
“A denial of finding the truth is what we have to deal with,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday. “We have to find the truth, and we are hoping to do so in the most bipartisan way possible.”
She drew a direct link between Republicans’ ouster of Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming as their No. 3 leader — a move that stemmed from Ms. Cheney’s vocal repudiations of Mr. Trump’s election lies, which inspired the riot — and their refusal to acknowledge the reality of what happened on Jan. 6.
the House floor was never breached and that no firearms had been confiscated. “There was an undisciplined mob. There were some rioters, and some who committed acts of vandalism.”
He then asked Jeffrey A. Rosen, who was the acting attorney general at the time of the attack, whether he considered it “an insurrection, or a riot with vandalism, similar to what we saw last summer,” apparently referring to racial justice protests that swept across the country.
pushed the fiction that it had been carried out by antifa and Black Lives Matter, a claim that the federal authorities have repeatedly debunked. Now, a much broader group of Republican lawmakers have settled on a more subtle effort to cloud and distort what happened.
The approach has hampered the creation of an independent commission, modeled after the one that delved into the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, to look into the Capitol riot, its roots and the government’s response. Ms. Pelosi said discussions had stalled given Republicans’ insistence on including unrelated groups and events, and that Democrats might be forced to undertake their own inquiry through existing House committees if the G.O.P. would not drop the demand.
“Now we’re getting this outrageous Orwellian revisionist history, where Donald Trump is out there saying that his most loyal followers came in — literally, he said, ‘hugging and kissing’ the Capitol officers,” said Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland. “My colleagues should stop with all of the evasions, the diversions and the distractions. Let’s figure out what happened to us on that day.”