Republican says he ‘fears for the future’ if Trump isn’t charged over Jan. 6 riot | Republicans
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger said in an interview on Sunday that he believed the Justice Department would “do the right thing” and bring criminal charges against Donald Trump for his role in the attack on the US Capitol. on January 6, 2021.
“I think he will be charged, and I frankly think he should be,” Kinzinger told CNN’s State of the Union political talk show Sunday morning.
Last month, the House select committee investigating the attack, on which Kinzinger sits, voted to refer the former president to the Justice Department for obstruction of due process, conspiracy to defraud United States, conspiracy to make a false statement and “inciting”, “assisting” or “aiding or abetting” an insurrection.
The recommendations relate to the former US president’s role in encouraging insurrection on the US Capitol in Washington DC as thousands of his extremist supporters sought to block Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the of the 2020 presidential election.
“If he’s not guilty of a crime, then I frankly fear for the future of this country because now every future president can say, ‘Hey, here’s the bar.’ And the bar is to do whatever you can to stay in power,” Kinzinger said.
Kinzinger was one of two Republicans on the Democratic-led Jan. 6 select committee, which concluded its investigation ahead of the dissolution and new Congress beginning Tuesday, when Republicans assume a majority in the House after the midterm elections. of last November.
Kinzinger led one of the committee’s sessions last June that focused on alleged pressure on the Justice Department by Trump or his allies as he worked to persuade them to reverse his defeat of 2020 by falsely claiming that the election was marred by widespread fraud.
He has represented Illinois in the House of Representatives since 2011 and was speaking following the committee’s last sessions and on the eve of his departure from Congress.
Kinzinger also criticized Republican leaders for maintaining Trump’s influence on the American political landscape, downplaying Trump’s attack on the Capitol and inciting the riot, and often supporting lies. of Trump on the rigged election in favor of the Democrats.
He blamed powerful House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is currently battling to become the new Speaker of the House, as the reason the former speaker remains such a force in politics.
“He’s the reason Donald Trump is still a factor,” Kinzinger said. “He’s the reason some of the crazy elements of the House still exist.”
McCarthy, he said, had visited Trump at his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida shortly after the Jan. 6 uprising. This show of mutual support at a pivotal moment has “resurrected” Trump’s relevance in politics, strengthening the right. On McCarthy’s trip, he said, Republicans went from not knowing what to do about Trump to “reluctantly” defending him.
“Donald Trump should consider Kevin McCarthy his best friend because Donald Trump is alive today politically because of Kevin McCarthy,” Kinzinger added.
He noted that then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans failed to convict Trump in his second historic impeachment for incitement.
“The Republican Party is not the future of this country if it doesn’t fix it,” he said. “If you think of a prosperous America 20 years from now, it’s not going to be an America based on what Marjorie Taylor Greene wants or … some of these radicals want,” he added, referring to the far-right MP right Georgian, who is sympathetic. to the QAnon conspiracy theory, and the like.
As the 2024 presidential election gradually takes shape, Kinzinger said he fears for American democracy, given that “perhaps a third of the country” thinks the last election was stolen from Trump.
The congressman said he has no plans to run for the Republican presidential nomination. But he conceded it would be “fun” to run against Trump, who declared his 2024 candidacy in November.
“He gets up and just lies. He speaks untruths. People love it because it’s entertaining, but ultimately people care about their country. So, no, my intention is not to race in 2024. But it would be fun,” he said.