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How Iowa's Representatives Reacted To Attempts To Investigate Jan. 6 Capitol Attack

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

This investigation could answer key questions surrounding the insurrection. But will facts matter to some politicians pushing false notions about what happened?

In the aftermath of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, members of both parties called for answers and accountability for the violence. But half a year later, few Republicans are willing to even vote in favor of a congressional commission to investigate the events of the day. Despite this, an independent commission formed and heard its first day of testimony Tuesday.

Outside of sole Democratic member U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, Iowa's Congressional delegation has not supported this new select committee to investigate the January 6 riot. U.S. Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Ashley Hinson and Randy Feenstra — Iowa’s Republican delegation to the House — voted with their party leaders against creating the committee. This was an about-face by Miller-Meeks, who voted in favor of the initial bipartisan commission blocked by her Republican colleagues in the Senate like Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with two political scientists about what we learned. Donna Hoffmann of the University of Northern Iowa says the commission will lead to a deeper account of the facts surrounding the insurrection, and she says that some Republicans will be motivated to dispute its findings.

"Will we know absolutely what happened? Probably not, but we will get a lot more information out of this process because of the very nature of how you do hearings, so I do think it will succeed. But it will always be controversial," Hoffmann says.


  • Donna Hoffman, professor of political science at University of Northern Iowa
  • Jonathan Hassid, associate professor in political science at Iowa State University
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa