Rep. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Sunday that “the torch has been passed” from the House Committee on Jan. 6 to the Justice Department and the American people, after the committee’s final hearing before the November midterms that highlighted former President Donald Trump’s central role in the insurgency.
In the committee’s public hearing last Thursday, members presented damning evidence showing Trump’s plan declare victory in the election regardless of the resultsas well US Secret Service prior knowledge of the violence that broke out at the Capitol. The committee members concluded the hearing on unanimously to vote to impeach the former president in the investigation.
Trump responded to the subpoena with a lengthy letter posted on his social media platform Truth Social, repeating the same lies he’s been peddling for nearly two years now — including that the election was stolen from him. The former president did not say in the letter whether he would agree to testify before the committee.
“Well, I mean, it was 14 pages of — kind of each — and it seems like every statement that the former president makes now is getting longer and longer and even more verbose. So, I don’t know, I could not get out of it, he got out of it,” Kinzinger shared George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.”
“What I do know is this. We made a decision and — in front of the American people, you know, not behind closed doors — to begin the process of subpoenaing the former president. He’s required by law to come in,” he continued he. “And he can tumble and shove all he wants. That is the requirement for a congressional subpoena to come in.”
Over the course of months of hearings and interviews, the Jan. 6 committee has woven footage from that day with firsthand testimony from mostly Republicans and Trump loyalists to prove that the former president tried to overturn the 2020 election and remain in power by any means necessary.
Despite losing the election, Trump ignored the advice of senior staff, the courts and his own Justice Department and continued to push the election fraud lie that has now spread to Republican candidates running for office this year. Kinzinger said Sunday that the threat of suffragettes holding office and subverting democracy “certainly” continues.
“Look, I don’t think this is just going to go away organically. This is going to make the American people really stand up and make the decision that the truth matters,” he said. “With these deniers out there who can’t even agree on basic facts or will lie to the American people — or people who [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy, who has been put in a very important position, refusing to tell the truth because it’s much harder – or it’s much easier to just lie than to tell the truth and still try to win the podium.”
“This is the fight. And I would love to say this would happen easily,” he continued. “It’s going to take everybody’s work out there and work hard, because don’t think you want to leave your children a country like the one we’ve lived in, in terms of how divided it is.”
The committee is expected to produce a final report that will include legislative recommendations and potential criminal referrals to the Department of Justice. None of these decisions will automatically result in action, but the panel hopes their investigation has at least helped defuse Trump’s conspiracy theories and disinformation about the election and the uprising.
According to Kinzinger, the question of whether the committee will make criminal referrals is not that significant because The Ministry of Justice is “moving forward with this anyway” and “seems to be pursuing this pretty hard.”
“It’s putting these facts together, putting together in more of — in a deeper way exactly what we know. For example, the last hearing I did before this last one, we — it was about an hour and a half long. It could have been about a four-hour hearing,” the congressman said of what the public can expect next from the panel. “So you’ll see more of those details, we’ll start working on recommendations, and then again we’ll issue that report.
“And really, the torch has been passed — yes, to the DOJ, but also to the American people,” he continued. “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. What kind of country do you want to live in? That’s not acceptable , how we’ve done it. We can do it much better.”