Donald Trump is ‘absolutely guilty’ of a crime ahead of Jan. 6 report release: Kinzinger
Donald Trump is ‘absolutely guilty’ of a crime ahead of Jan. 6 report release: KinzingerRyan King
December 15, 08:27 AM December 15, 08:31 AM
Former President Donald Trump is “absolutely guilty” of a crime in relation to the Jan. 6 riots, committee member and outgoing Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said.
Kinzinger made the comments during an interview this week, discussing how Trump pressured officials at the Justice Department to say the election was “stolen” and sat in the Oval Office “actively resisting pressure” to quell the rioters.
“I have to caveat it with that I’m not a Justice Department official. They have different levels of standards,” Kinzinger told CNN. “I think he is absolutely guilty. And if he is not guilty of some kind of a crime, I mean, what we’ve basically said is presidents are above the law and they can do everything short of a coup as long as it doesn’t succeed.”
JAN. 6 COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ANNOUNCES LAST PUBLIC MEETING AHEAD OF FINAL REPORT
“[Trump] knew what was happening prior to Jan. 6, he pressured the Justice Department officials to say, ‘Hey, just say the election was stolen and leave the rest to me,'” Kinzinger continued. “Then you look at the 187 minutes where he sat in his office, not indecisive, I think indecisive would be probably complementary. He was actively resisting pressure from his family and from his staff to stop that from happening.”
The Jan. 6 committee is poised to hold its final public meeting on Dec. 19 and is expected to unveil any criminal referrals from its investigation. It has reportedly been mulling criminal referrals for Trump, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, attorney John Eastman, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark.
Then, on Dec. 21, the panel will release its long-anticipated final report, committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) told reporters this week. Criminal referrals are nonbinding, and it will be up to law enforcement agencies to decide whether or not to move forward with criminal charges.
Even if the DOJ doesn’t pursue criminal charges against Trump, Kinzinger insisted the committee’s efforts will not have been in vain.
“The information that who is responsible — that’s very important. Showing the American people the true nature of what happened — that’s very important. Where I think this work is going to actually echo the loudest though is not even necessarily tomorrow,” Kinzinger added. “It’s going to echo through the history books.”
As the panel wraps up its work, newly appointed special counsel Jack Smith is spearheading the DOJ’s investigations related to Trump, including Trump’s actions surrounding the Capitol riot and coinciding efforts to thwart the 2020 election. Trump, who launched his 2024 campaign last month, has denied wrongdoing and blasted both Smith and the Jan. 6 committee for conducting a witch hunt.
Kinzinger opted not to vie for reelection in the midterm elections and is set to depart Congress in January.