After Senate Republicans doomed the bipartisan commission on Jan. 6, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi laid out four potential options for moving forward with an investigation into the insurrection—creating a select committee remains the best one and she should do it it post haste.
As Daily Kos' Joan McCarter explained, the other three options included pushing another Senate vote on the House-passed bill, letting multiple committees press on with their existing probes, or consolidating all investigations and putting one committee in charge of the probe.
The fatal flaw of all three of those options comes down to one problem—they continue to put Democrats in the position of dealing with congressional Republicans as if they are a party that is invested in our democracy and safeguarding it from future attacks. The Senate vote comes down to Republicans. The House committee investigations will continue to be dragged down by the stall tactics and sabotage of GOP committee members.
Forming a select committee gives Pelosi more control over the timeline and makeup of the panel, and she could limit the number of Republicans who sit on it. It would also have subpoena power, and although Republican targets of those subpoenas would surely tie them up in court, Americans would get the benefit of seeing yet another exercise in GOP obstruction. Also, as Joan pointed out, the committee could obtain documents that are currently under seal at the National Archives.
While they are officially under seal for several years, Congress has the power to break the seal. We don't know what records the White House has for what was going on that day—or in the days preceding it—but whatever records there are would be pretty easily accessible to the House, and would require Trump to sue to prevent their release.
In the end, there is simply no way around the investigation being derided by Republicans as a partisan exercise—so why not just get on with it. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy deputized GOP Rep. John Katko of New York to broker a deal with Democrats on how to structure a 9/11-style commission, and then he opposed that deal even though it incorporated every single one of his original demands.
So create a select committee to do the job and uncover as much about the origins of Jan. 6 as is humanly possible. Republicans will spend the remainder of the 2022 cycle skewering everything as a Democratic power grab or a witch hunt. It's Democrats’ job now to uncover enough credible and damning information to convince Americans that 2022 isn't a question of Republicans versus Democrats, it's a question of Republican versus democracy. And Democrats should be prosecuting that message by every means possible—including a select committee on Jan. 6.