During an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) — a member of the January 6 committee in the House — indicated he believed what Trump had done reached “criminal involvement by a president,” although Kinzinger seemed careful not to give any conclusive judgments, keeping his personal stances separate.
In other words, Kinzinger apparently believes Trump is deserving of prosecution. It’s worth considering Kinzinger’s beliefs in the context of his role on the riot panel: he’s not making such a statement just based on what he sees in the news. Kinzinger has spent months involved in an expansive probe into the violence at the Capitol and what led up to it, and in the course of that investigation — which remains ongoing amid public hearings by the panel — committee members have heard from over 1,000 people and obtained substantial amounts of evidence related to what they’re investigating. As Kinzinger put it:
‘I certainly think the president is guilty of knowing what he did, seditious conspiracy, being involved in these different segments of pressuring DOJ, vice president, etc. Obviously, you know we’re not a criminal charges committee, so I want to be careful in specifically using that language, but I think what we’re presenting before the American people certainly would rise to a level of criminal involvement by a president, and definitely failure of the oath. The oath has to matter here. Your personal demand to stand for the Constitution has to matter, and if you have people that don’t regard that at all, there is no law in the world that we can pass that’s gonna make a bit of difference.’
Check out Kinzinger’s comments below:
Kinzinger on if Trump should be prosecuted: "I think what we're presenting before the American people certainly would rise to a level of criminal involvement by a president, and definitely failure of the oath." pic.twitter.com/1wcMojx7v8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 19, 2022
In a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll, a full 58 percent of respondents indicated they believe Trump should be criminally charged in relation to his ties to the violence at the Capitol. In addition, 58 percent of total respondents said they believed Trump holds a great deal or a good amount of blame for the Capitol riot, which is the same portion that said as much in late December of last year. In other words, it seems as though the frenzied attempts by Trump and others to essentially gloss over the reality of what happened at the Capitol and Trump’s role in it isn’t working as well as the ex-president might hope. There’s no apparent secret majority of Americans who actually take Trump’s claims of a supposedly stolen election seriously, even if certain supporters still believe him. One could draw from that a sense it’s unlikely that a potential Trump 2024 campaign founded on stolen election claims will be automatically broadly popular with voters.
Trump, meanwhile, isn’t just facing the federal probes into the Capitol riot and its causes; he’s also facing an ongoing criminal investigation in Georgia into efforts by him and his allies to undercut the presidential election outcome in the state — and Trump isn’t exactly thrilled about that probe. “My phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State, with many other people, including numerous lawyers, knowingly on the line, was absolutely PERFECT and appropriate,” Trump recently posted. “YES, it was a PERFECT CALL (and so was the second call for which the Washington Post was forced to do a major, and somewhat embarrassing, retraction). Thank you!” A call on which Trump unsuccessfully pressured the Georgia Secretary of State to meddle with the 2020 election results in Georgia is among what’s under investigation.