Kinzinger in op-ed calls on GOP senators to convict Trump in impeachment trial

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerSunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Biden asks Pentagon to examine 'how and when' to mandate COVID-19 vaccine for troops Stefanik calls Cheney 'Pelosi pawn' over Jan. 6 criticism MORE (R-Ill.) called on Senate Republicans to vote to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE on a charge of inciting an insurrection in an op-ed published on the eve of Trump's second impeachment trial. 

Kinzinger, who voted to impeach Trump in the House last month, noted that “virtually all” of his Republican colleagues felt the lower chamber’s impeachment proceedings were “a waste of time — political theater that distracted from bigger issues.”  

“The overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans appear to feel the same way about conviction,” Kinzinger wrote in an op-ed published in The Washington Post on Monday.

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The Illinois Republican added, “This isn’t a waste of time. It’s a matter of accountability. If the GOP doesn’t take a stand, the chaos of the past few months, and the past four years, could quickly return. The future of our party and our country depends on confronting what happened — so it doesn’t happen again.”

House lawmakers last month voted to approve an impeachment article accusing Trump of inciting violence against the the federal government amid the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

Ten House Republicans joined Democratic lawmakers in favor of impeaching Trump for a second time during his one term in office.

Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate is set to begin on Tuesday. 

“The immediate cause for Trump’s impeachment was Jan. 6,” Kinzinger wrote in the op-ed. “But the president’s rally and resulting riot on Capitol Hill didn’t come out of nowhere. They were the result of four-plus years of anger, outrage and outright lies. Perhaps the most dangerous lie — or at least the most recent — was that the election was stolen. Of course it wasn’t, but a huge number of Republican leaders encouraged the belief that it was. Every time that lie was repeated, the riots of Jan. 6 became more likely.”

“Impeachment offers a chance to say enough is enough. It ought to force every American, regardless of party affiliation, to remember not only what happened on Jan. 6, but also the path that led there,” Kinzinger wrote, adding that he has heard from thousands of constituents who supported his vote to impeach the former president.

The Illinois lawmaker also claimed that the U.S. will “never move forward by ignoring what happened or refusing to hold accountable those responsible.”