JULY 24, 2022
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger said he believes the Jan. 6 panel has proven a criminal case against Trump.
- He “certainly has criminal exposure,” Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the panel, said Friday.
- The committee can send a criminal referral to the DOJ.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans sitting on the Jan. 6 committee tasked with investigating the Capitol riot, said the panel has proven a criminal case against former President Donald Trump.
“I think, taken in totality, this represents the greatest effort to overturn the will of the people, to conspire against the will of the people, and to conspire against American democracy that we’ve ever had, frankly since the Civil War,” he said Friday during an interview with CNN. “I think we’ve proven that.”
The House select committee tasked with investigating events leading up to and in the aftermath of the Capitol riot has been gathering evidence, including some that legal experts say could mean that Trump has broken at least five federal laws, such as conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and defrauding the United States.
Speaking with reporters after Thursday’s hearing, Kinzinger said he couldn’t make a prosecutorial judgment, because the committee wouldn’t be able to legally prosecute Trump. But its members can inform the Justice Department of possible criminal conduct, as Insider’s John Dorman previously reported.
But Trump “certainly has criminal exposure,” Kinzinger told reporters.
“I certainly think if you look at what we presented tonight, and then all these hearings, that cannot be acceptable from the president of the United States,” he said.
Former Justice Department officials who served in Republican administrations said last week that the Jan. 6 committee has uncovered sufficient evidence for the unprecedented prosecution of a former president. And former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner said he believes Trump will be indicted for his role in last year’s insurrection.
The Capitol riot left five people, including one police officer, dead. Members of the Proud Boys, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, were also present.
Organizers were emboldened by former President Donald Trump’s urges to protest the results of the 2020 election with him, despite Joe Biden’s election victory. While members of Congress were meeting inside the Capitol to certify the results and verify Biden’s electoral win, Trump supporters organized an attempted coup and stormed the Capitol.
After the riot, insurrectionists scrambled to delete photos and social-media posts proving their participation in the Capitol riot. Some broke their cellphones, scrubbed their social media accounts, and tried to wipe hard drives that might contain photos and other proof of their involvement.
But others boasted of their involvement, making it easier for the FBI to identify and later bring charges against them. So far, more than 882 people have been charged in connection with the insurrection, according to Insider’s database.