Republican Congressman, Adam Kinzinger has said in an interview with CNN’s State of Union political talk show that criminal charges should be brought against Donald Trump for his role in the attack on the US Capitol in January 2021.
Two years ago this week, an army of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol in a bid to stop Joe Biden from officially being named as the new US President. Two months prior to the attack, Biden had narrowly beaten Trump to become the 46th President of the United States of America.
In the time between the election and the Capitol riots, Trump speculated that the election had been rigged in Biden’s favor which caused widespread anger among avid supporters of the controversial billionaire.
This reached a fever pitch on the 6th of January when Trump told his supporters during a rally in Washington that they should “march over to the Capitol building” to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard.
Protesters subsequently launched an attack on the Capitol armed with weapons, with many of them smashing the windows of the building to get inside. Although Trump later released a video telling them to go home, many people believe that the former president is to blame for the riots.
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A Dangerous Precedent
The House Select Committee has been investigating the attack for some time and last month voted to refer Trump to the Justice Department on charges of obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to make a false statement and incite, assist or aid or comfort an insurrection.
Kinzinger sits on the House Select Committee and has said that he thinks Trump “will be charged.” He added:
“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, “here, here’ the bar.’ And the bar is, do everything you can to stay in power.”
The Republican Congressman has also slammed fellow Republican leaders for allowing Trump to stay influential in US politics. Many of his allies have downplayed Trump’s role in the Capitol attack and have even backed his claims that elections in the US have been rigged in favor of Democrats.
Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, was named by Kinzinger as the person responsible for Trump still having a voice in politics. He believes that McCarthy’s visit to Trump’s residence in Florida shortly after the Capitol riots was the moment that “resurrected” Trump’s relevance in politics because it meant that many Republicans had to “begrudgingly” defend the former president. He added:
“He (McCarthy) is the reason Donald Trump is still a factor. He is the reason that some of the crazy elements of the House still exist. Trump should consider Kevin McCarthy his best friend because Donald Trump is alive politically because of Kevin McCarthy.”
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An Uncertain Future For The Republican Party
Despite being a Republican Congressman, Kinzinger believes that the party needs to correct itself if they are to represent the United States in the future. He pointed to far-right members of the party, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, as examples of those who need to be dismissed if the party is to be successful in 2024 and beyond. He said:
“The Republican party is not the future of this country unless it corrects. If you think of a successful America in 20 years, that’s not going to be an America based on what Marjorie Taylor Green or other radicals want.”
Despite that, Kinzinger has no intention of running for the Republican presidential nomination for the 2024 election. He does, however, concede that he would relish the opportunity to go up against Trump, who declared his intention to run for the seat a couple of months ago. Kinzinger said:
He stands up and just lies. People love it because it’s entertaining, but eventually, people have concern for their country. My intention is not to run in 2024, but it would be fun!”