The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurgency is looking into whether former President Donald Trump committed a crime by attempting to prevent the certification of the 2020 election results, according to Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
Kinzinger is one of two Republicans on the panel, and he has been a vocal opponent of Trump.
While Kinzinger said he wasn’t ready to say if Trump committed a crime just yet, he predicted that “by the end of our investigation, and by the time our report is out, (we’ll) have a fairly decent notion.”
“Nobody is above the law. And if the president knowingly allowed what happened on January 6 to happen, and in fact was giddy about it, and that violates a criminal statute, he needs to be held accountable for that,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Hundreds of subpoenas have been issued by the committee in recent weeks, some to close Trump aides. The floods rushed in at Trump’s Oval Office this week as Mark Meadows, Trump’s fourth and final chief of staff, became the subject of a probe into tweets he received on and around the day of the insurgency.
Meadows withdrew his cooperation, and the committee unanimously agreed to submit him for criminal prosecution for contempt of Congress.
Kinzinger, who has drawn the ire of Trump supporters for serving on the committee with fellow Republican Liz Cheney, said he had no qualms about investigating how Trump incited supporters to try to overturn his election defeat by Joe Biden, which he claims were the result of massive electoral fraud, which it was not.
“He’s not a king,” Kinzinger said, “Former presidents, they aren’t former kings.”
Kinzinger also expressed concern that the events of January 6 were really a “trial run” for Trump and his associates to try another coup.
Kinzinger’s remarks about the scope of the investigation into Trump’s role are the most forceful so far.
On the 6th of January, at a “Stop the Steal” protest near the White House, then-President Barack Obama exhorted supporters to march on the Capitol and “fight like hell [or] you’re not going to have a nation any longer.”
He was impeached a second time for instigating the uprising that followed, but Trump was acquitted in his Senate trial and is free to run for office again, despite the fact that Kinzinger and nine other House Republicans and seven GOP senators voted with Democrats.
When he was Ppressed on whether he thought Trump was guilty of a crime, Kinzinger stated: “I don’t want to go there yet, to say, ‘Do I believe he has’. But I sure tell you I have a lot of questions about what the president was up to.”
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