Kinzinger: Voting to impeach Trump 'could very well be terminal to my career'

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Florida's restrictive voting bill signed into law Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women Kinzinger hits GOP on 'operation #coverupJan6' over Cheney ouster plot MORE (R-Ill.) said in a podcast released Thursday that he was willing to lose his House seat when he voted to impeach former President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE

"I did it knowing full well it could very well be terminal to my career," Kinzinger told host David AxelrodDavid AxelrodPsaki signals she'll step down next year The George Floyd bill offers justice for Black America White House denies involvement in Senate decision on trial witnesses MORE while speaking on “The Axe Files,” CNN reports

“But I also knew that I couldn't live with myself having, you know, try to just protect it and just felt like the one time I was called to do a really tough duty, I didn't do it."


Ten House Republicans including Kinzinger voted to impeach Trump, and all have come under staunch criticism from Trump allies for their votes. 

Many if not all of them are likely to face primary challenges as a result. It's also possible that Kinzinger's district could change as a result of redistricting in the state. 

A former Air Force pilot, Kinzinger has been an outspoken critic of Trump. He said in the podcast interview with Axelrod that he wasn't worried about political repercussions from his impeachment vote, even as he acknowledged them. 

“I'll say to anybody that thinks my vote was for politics, they don't know me. And I would say now they don't know politics because, you know, you have to get through a primary," continued Kinzinger. "And would it make me more able to win a general election? Probably. But that's not why I did it."

Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate is set for the second week of February. He appears unlikely to be convicted, which would require the votes of at least 17 Republican senators.