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GOP's Kinzinger: Jan. 6 committee exploring possible Trump crimes

Echoing Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger suggested the Jan. 6 committee is exploring whether Donald Trump engaged in criminal misconduct.


Before he ended his cooperation with the investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows turned over extensive materials to the House select committee, including text messages between GOP members and Donald Trump's team. It was against this backdrop that ABC News' Jonathan Karl asked Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger an important question yesterday.

"Do you think that some of your Republican colleagues bear direct responsibility for that riot?" the host asked. The Illinois congressman, one of two GOP members on the bipartisan committee responded, "It's possible. I'm not ready to kind of go to that point yet, because I want to let the facts dictate it. But I will tell you, yes, there are more texts out there that we haven't released."

Kinzinger didn't go into a lot of detail, and he certainly didn't name names, but the Republican said some of the messages from members explored "going around the nuances of the law."

He added, "We're going to pursue doggedly everything to the ends of the Earth, and that includes, and we don't like necessarily to have to go here, but that includes members of Congress that had any involvement."

Just as notably, however, Kinzinger also sat down yesterday with CNN's Jake Tapper, who noted that Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the other Republican on the committee investigating the attack, has explicitly raised the prospect of Donald Trump possibly having committed a crime in January. The host asked Kinzinger whether he believes the former president broke the law by trying to impede Congress' official proceedings.

The congressman hedged a bit before telling viewers:

"... I think we will, by the end of our investigation and by the time our report is out, have a pretty good idea [whether Trump committed a crime]. We will be able to have out on the public record anything Justice Department needs maybe in pursuit of that. Nobody, Jake, is above the law. Nobody, not the president. He's not a king. Not former presidents.... And if the president knowingly allowed what happened on January 6 to happen, and, in fact, was giddy about it, and that violates a criminal statute, he needs to be held accountable for that."

Kinzinger added, "I have a lot of questions about what the president was up to." Asked whether the committee is examining this line of inquiry, the Illinois Republican said yes.

Politico noted last week, "Members of the Jan. 6 select committee are homing in on a politically explosive question: Did Donald Trump's actions amid the Capitol attack amount to criminal obstruction of Congress?"

Kinzinger's comments yesterday suggested it's a question the investigatory committee is taking seriously.