GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger Reveals ‘Fear’ If Trump Is Found Not Guilty
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) revealed his “fear” if former President Donald Trump isn’t charged and convicted for his actions related to the Capitol insurrection.
In an interview with CNN where he reflected on his work with the House Jan. 6 select committee and his departure from Congress, Kinzinger expressed worry that failure to hold Trump accountable would set a dangerous bar for future leaders.
“If he is not guilty of a crime, then I frankly fear for the future of this country, because now every future president can say, ‘Hey, here’s the bar.’ And the bar is do everything you can to stay in power,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash.
Kinzinger noted he isn’t “a lawyer, not a Justice Department guy” and was speaking his personal opinion, but said it’s obvious Trump’s actions were problematic “from a presidential perspective, from an oath perspective.”
“As we’ve gotten into this, I look, and I’m like, yeah, if this is not a crime, I don’t know what is,” he said. “If a president can incite an insurrection and not be held accountable, then really, there’s no limit to what a president can do, or can’t do.”
On Dec. 22, the Jan. 6 committee released its final report on Trump’s attempts to stay in power after losing the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden. The committee also recently released transcripts of interviews it conducted with people close to Trump, including Donald Trump Jr., his fiancée Kimberly Guilfoyle and Trump’s former adviser Stephen Miller.
The committee referred four criminal charges against Trump to the Department of Justice on Dec. 19. But in October, Kinzinger said “the torch has been passed” already to the DOJ and the American people.
“Because we’re saying, ‘Here’s what the deal is, now it’s up to you to stop this from, A, happening again, and really take control as a self-governing country,” he told ABC. “What kind of a country do you want to live in? This is not acceptable how we’ve been doing it. We can do way better.’”
Kinzinger is one of four members of the committee who won’t be returning for the 118th Congress, which will convene on Tuesday. Kinzinger announced in Oct. 2021 he would not seek reelection. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) also announced in 2021 she would not run again. Two other members lost races ― Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) lost her primary, and Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) lost to her Republican opponent in the general election.
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