- Adam Kinzinger says his colleagues shouldn’t be able to hide from subpoenas.
- Multiple House Republicans were in contact with Trump on January 6, 2021.
- The committee investigating the insurrection wants to know about what happened.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger said on Thursday that being a member of Congress does not protect a lawmaker from possible subpoenas or even Justice Department action, an opinion that comes as the Capitol riot committee weighs how it should treat its colleagues who were in touch with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021.
“In my mind, we need this information and we need this information pretty ricky tick,” Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, told The Washington Post’s Jacqueline Alemany on the first anniversary of the January 6 insurrection. “If members of Congress knew what was going to happen or had an inkling of what was going to happen, that’s important both from an election perspective … and for the future of the institution.”
The House Select Committee has asked Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania to voluntarily cooperate with their probe. Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat who chairs the panel, has previously said that the committee is considering whether it has the legal authority to subpoena fellow lawmakers in the event they don’t comply.
Addressing those legal concerns, Kinzinger said the answers are “not a matter of protecting our own.”
“I’m of the firm belief that being a member of Congress does not protect you from the DOJ, it certainly does not protect you from an inquiry of Congress,” he said.
As for another part of the panel’s probe, Kinzinger said that Fox News host Sean Hannity has not yet cooperated with the committee’s request for information about his contacts with Trump before and during January 6, 2021. Hannity, who as Kinzinger pointed out has previously claimed he is not a journalist, could still fight any potential subpoena on First Amendment grounds.
Lawmakers have already released multiple text messages that Hannity sent White House chief of staff Mark Meadows before the insurrection expressing worry over Trump rejecting the fact that he lost the election.
“A question, probably more for you and other journalists, is at what point do you go from being a journalist to an advocate?” Kinzinger said, adding that it’s an “intriguing part of the investigation.”