There is Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a thorough-going member of and cheerleader for the January 6 Pelosi whitewash committee, appearing on CNN. CNN’s Dana Bash asked him: “Do you think that voters should trust House Republican leaders with the majority in the next election?” To which Kinzinger replied:
“All I can say right now is my party has to embrace truth. We have to have a full reckoning of what happened on January 6th, and we have to turn away from conspiracy. I think if we’re going to be in charge and pushing conspiracy and pushing division and pushing lies, then the Republican party should not have the majority. But if we’re going to be the party that actually tells truth and fights for real conservative values and doesn’t masquerade conservatism as some anger future, then certainly we should have the majority. But that’s up to the party right now to determine.”
He also said Republicans had been “talking about things like, you know, bloodshed or supportive of that or flirting around with white nationalism.” He added:
“The question is what is our party going to be? Are we going to be the party of opportunity and hope or the party of anger, division, and truth has no place in it?”
Say what? With all due respect, the Congressman appears to have it exactly backwards. In fact, he and certain others (see, “Cheney, Rep. Liz”) are the ones who cheer on anger and division and reject the truth.
Case in point: this statement released by Congressman Kinzinger in January of this year, with bold print supplied for emphasis:
Washington, DC — Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) released the following statement ahead of the House votes on impeachment:
“Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve sought to do the right thing for the good of the people I represent and for the country as a whole. We are in unchartered waters here, and in a moment in history we have not experienced in modern times.
“On January 6, 2021, the President of the United States encouraged an angry mob to storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes. This angry mob turned violent and caused destruction to our nation’s symbol of democracy. This insurrection led to countless injuries and the death of several people, including two of our U.S. Capitol Police Officers.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection. He used his position in the Executive to attack the Legislative. So in assessing the articles of impeachment brought before the House, I must consider: if these actions — the Article II branch inciting a deadly insurrection against the Article I branch — are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?
“I will vote in favor of impeachment.”
This statement is nothing if not a study in untruths and angry, divisive rhetoric. Let’s unpack, starting with this sentence:
“On January 6, 2021, the President of the United States encouraged an angry mob to storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes.”
First, the FBI — as reported by the Washington Post — knew in advance that there were people planning violence on January 6th.
The Post reported as follows:
A day before rioters stormed Congress, an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and “war,” according to an internal document reviewed by The Washington Post that contradicts a senior official’s declaration the bureau had no intelligence indicating anyone at last week’s demonstrations in support of President Trump planned to do harm.
Which is to say, the Congressman’s statement that the riot occurred as a result of the President’s January 6th speech at a rally behind the White House is flatly untrue.
Let me speak as well from direct personal knowledge. I was invited to the January 6 rally on the White House ellipse. I was given a literal front row seat, seated next to my friends Diamond and Silk. When the President came on stage he saw us and gave us a smile and a wave.
All of which is to say I heard every word the President said that day. Never at any time — never once — did he “encourage an angry mob to storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes.” Say again, never. What he did quite specifically say was that the crowd should go to the Capitol to protest “peacefully and patriotically.” Which, by the way, was their constitutional right.
I, in fact, did not go to the Capitol as I had media appearances to make and returned to my hotel room to do them. But most assuredly I heard every word the President said at that White House rally, and at no time — say again no time — did he ever encourage anyone to “storm the United States Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes.” That is flatly untrue and hardly fits with the Congressman’s call to “embrace truth.”
But if rioting is the concern, then one hopes Congressman Kinzinger will study the Real Clear Investigations data compendium focused on the violence of January 6, 2021, January 20, 2017, and the George Floyd riots that engulfed the country in 2020.
The RCI reports this:
*The summer 2020 riots resulted in some 15 times more injured police officers, 30 times as many arrests, and estimated damages in dollar terms up to 1,300 times more costly than those of the Capitol riot. George Floyd rioters were found to have used more sophisticated and dangerous tactics than did the Capitol rioters, and in some cases weapons of greater lethality.
*Authorities have pursued the largely Trump-supporting Capitol rioters with substantially more vigor than suspected wrongdoers in the earlier two cases. Many accused Capitol rioters, unlike accused participants in the other riots, have been held in pretrial detention for months — with one defendant serving more time than the maximum sentence for the charge to which he pleaded guilty. Some allegedly endured solitary confinement and other mistreatment.
*With authorities applying lenient prosecutorial standards in many major cities torn by the summer riots, the vast majority of charges last year were dismissed, as were charges in the Inauguration 2017 unrest. Charges have to date been dropped in only a single Capitol riot case.”
In fact, it has now been reported that Vice President Harris contributed to a bail fund — the Minnesota Freedom Fund — for those arrested in the George Floyd protests. The Washington Examiner quotes Harris as saying this at the time:
“If you’re able to, chip in now to the [Minnesota Freedom Fund] to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota.”
Now, one of those bailed out because of this group, one George Howard, 47, “has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder in connection to a road rage incident in Minneapolis this weekend that left one man dead.”
Got that? The Vice President of the United States contributed — and urged others to contribute — to a bail fund for a man who not only had a previous record but is now under arrest charged with murder.
Will the January 6 committee be investigating this? Will Congressman Kinzinger be filing impeachment charges against Harris? Not to mention, will Kinzinger’s quest for “a full reckoning of what happened on January 6th” include an investigation of Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her refusal to do her job and provide security for the Capitol on January 6th?
And if rioting in Washington to protest an election is the Congressman’s concern — where was he in January of 2017? Here is a report from Newsmax that ran on January 20th, the day Donald Trump was inaugurated:
Black-clad activists angry about U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration smashed store and car windows in Washington on Friday and fought with police in riot gear who responded with pepper spray and stun grenades.…
About 500 people, some wearing masks and kerchiefs over their faces, marched through the city’s downtown, breaking the windows of a Bank of America branch, a McDonald’s outlet and a Starbucks shop, all symbols of the American capitalist system.
Where was the Congressional investigation of that? Where was Adam Kinzinger? Silent.
It is safe to say that when it comes to January 6, the fix is in. The Never Trumpers are awash in conspiracy theories, they are pushing division, whitewash, and have made no attempt to get the truth.
And sadly, Congressman Adam Kinzinger appears to be one of the fixers.