National Security

Kinzinger says Trump ‘absolutely guilty’ of crimes ahead of Jan. 6  

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)
Greg Nash
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) arrives to the Capitol for a series of votes on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Wednesday that former President Trump is “absolutely guilty” of a crime surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

“I think he’s guilty of a crime. I mean, look, he knew what he did. We’ve made that clear. He knew what was happening prior to January 6th. He pressured the Justice Department officials to say, ‘Hey, just say the election was stolen and leave the rest to me.’ And then the Republicans all need to put the stamp of approval on it,” Kinzinger told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.” 

The outgoing Republican lawmaker, a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, highlighted the 187 minutes between the start of the riot and Trump’s eventual attempt to diffuse tensions by telling rioters in a video to “go home.” 

“I think he is absolutely guilty. If he is not guilty of some kind of a crime, I mean, what we’ve basically said is presidents are above the law and they can do everything short of a coup as long as it doesn’t succeed,” Kinzinger said, though he gave the caveat that, even as a member of the Jan. 6 panel, he doesn’t have the DOJ’s power to press charges.

Calling Trump “indecisive” to excuse his inactivity during that period would be “probably complementary to him,” Kinzinger said.  

“He was actively resisting pressure from his family and from his staff to stop that from happening. And when he finally saw that law enforcement had turned the tide and that the occupation wasn’t going to succeed, only then did he typically come out,” he said. 

As the next Congress approaches, the Jan. 6 committee is readying to release its much-anticipated final report, a culmination of the long investigation into the Capitol riots.

The panel is reportedly considering making criminal referrals for Trump and at least four others to the DOJ.

One of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over his involvement in the incitement of Jan. 6, Kinzinger did not seek reelection during this year’s midterms.

Tags Adam Kinzinger Adam Kinzinger Capitol riot Department of Justice Donald Trump House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack Jan. 6

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