Rep. Andy Kim donates Jan. 6 suit to Smithsonian

Rep. Andy Kim donates Jan. 6 suit to Smithsonian
© Greg Nash

Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) said Tuesday that he is donating a blue suit that he wore during the Capitol insurrection to the Smithsonian. 

In a series of tweets shared Tuesday, the New Jersey congressman explained his decision behind donating the suit and why he was reluctant to touch the suit again after the Jan. 6 riot. 

"6 months ago today I wore this blue suit as I cleaned the Capitol after the insurrection, now I just donated it to the Smithsonian. Jan6 must never be forgotten. While some try to erase history, I will fight to tell the story so it never happens again," Kim tweeted, beginning a 17-post thread.  

Kim said that when he was first asked to donate the suit, that he "thought about how the suit itself is unremarkable," adding that he purchased it on sale to wear to President BidenJoe BidenBiden to meet House Dems before Europe trip: report 21 House Democrats call for removing IRS bank reporting proposal from spending bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Vulnerable House Dems push drug pricing plan MORE's inauguration. 

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On Jan. 6, Kim continued, he woke to the news that then-Democratic candidates Jon OssoffJon OssoffPerdue mulling primary challenge against Kemp in Georgia: report McConnell backs Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race 5 sticking points holding back Democrats' spending package MORE and Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockPerdue mulling primary challenge against Kemp in Georgia: report Senate Democrats propose penalties for Federal Reserve officials who don't follow ethics code McConnell backs Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race MORE had defeated Republican incumbents in the Georgia Senate race, giving the Democrats a slim majority in the upper chamber. 

"JANUARY 6: I woke with the news of the wins in Georgia. I decided to wear the blue suit. I bought it to be a suit of celebration, and I thought what better way to give the suit meaning than to wear it when I confirm the electoral college and then later to the inauguration. 3/17." 

Later that day, a mob of former President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE's supporters marched to the Capitol to halt the certification of the 2020 presidential election. The mob breached security and did significant damage to the Capitol including breaking windows, stealing lecterns and ransacking lawmakers' offices. 

Kim stayed in the building into the early hours of the morning cleaning debris from the Capitol rotunda. 

“There was trash and debris everywhere, broken furniture and broken flags, coats and gloves, cigarette butts and car keys. Trump flags and random bits of food. There was some body armor,” Kim said in an interview with GQ at the time. “This was probably the worst condition that room has ever been in. It broke my heart—I almost started crying.”

Kim said in his tweets Tuesday that he thought what he did was "unremarkable," just like his suit, and that he did not think he'd done enough to keep people safe that day. 

"Neither my suit nor my actions are on their own worthy of memory, but the story didn’t end there," he said. 

The last time the lawmaker said he wore the suit was on Jan. 13, when he took to the House floor to cast his vote for Trump's second impeachment. 

"The suit still had dust on the knees from Jan6. I wore it so I would have no doubt about the truth of what happened," he wrote. 

Ultimately, Kim said he never wanted to look at the suit again. However, following his actions on Jan. 6, he received letters and cards of encouragement, particularly from kids in the U.S. who mentioned the blue suit.

"I told the Smithsonian yes to donating the blue suit because the telling of the story of Jan6 isn’t optional, it is necessary. There are many stories of Jan6. Mine is just one. We cannot heal as a nation unless we have truth. Let truth be truth," he continued. 

News of Kim's donation comes after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden to meet House Dems before Europe trip: report On The Money — Will the billionaire tax survive Joe Manchin? Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Democrats prepare to grill oil execs MORE (D-Calif.) kicked off Congress's special investigation of the insurrection, naming eight members to a select committee. 

House Democrats decided to move forward with the select committee after legislation to form an independent,  bipartisan commission was blocked by Senate Republicans in May.