Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on a House select committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol, accused GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of giving Donald Trump a lifeline. political rescue after the insurrection, opening the door to “crazy elements” in the future. be the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
“He’s the reason Donald Trump is still a factor,” Kinzinger told CNN on Jan. 1. “He’s the reason some of the crazy elements of the House still exist.”
The Illinois congressman is among several House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president for fueling the assault on Congress to overthrow the 2020 presidential election, including Mr Trump continues to falsely claim that she was “stolen” and “rigged” against him.
Mr Kinzinger said the House GOP leader had the opportunity to speak ‘the truth’ following the attack, but instead visited the former president’s Florida compound at Mar-a-Lago weeks later, effectively “resurrecting” Mr. Trump’s political career.
The “second” that Mr. McCarthy visited Mr. Trump after he left office in January 2021, Republicans accepted him “reluctantly,” Mr. Kinzinger said.
“Donald Trump should consider Kevin McCarthy his best friend because Donald Trump is alive today politically because of Kevin McCarthy,” Mr. Kinzinger said.
Mr. Kinzinger and his fellow House Select Republican, Liz Cheney, will not return to Congress this week. Mr. Kinzinger did not seek re-election and Ms. Cheney lost a primary election to a Trump-backed challenger for control of her Wyoming seat in the House. All but two Republicans in Congress who voted to impeach Mr. Trump lost their primaries or did not seek re-election.
As the House Select Committee prepared to wrap up its work months ahead of the new Republican House majority, the panel voted Dec. 19 to return Mr. Trump to the US Department of Justice on four counts. charges, including obstruction, conspiracy and incitement to insurrection. .
“Obviously what he’s done from a presidential standpoint, from a swearing-in standpoint, is a problem,” Kinzinger said of the former president. “If that’s not a crime, I don’t know what is. While a president can incite an insurrection and not be held accountable, there really is no limit to what a president can or cannot do.
Mr Kinzinger said he believed “the Justice Department will do the right thing” following the committee’s referrals, which are non-binding. Federal prosecutors are separately investigating the former president in connection with the attack.
“I think he will be charged, and frankly, I think he should be,” he added. “If he’s not guilty of a crime, I honestly fear for the future of this country, because now every future president can say, Hey, here’s the bar. And the bar is doing everything you can to stay in power.