Capitol attack panel set to subpoena Trump allies, Republican Kinzinger says

Members of Congress involved in attempt to overturn election have refused to testify voluntarily before June public hearings

The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol will decide “in the next week or two” whether to issue subpoenas trying to force Republican lawmakers to testify about Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election, one of two Republicans on the panel said on Sunday.

“If that takes a subpoena, it takes a subpoena,” Adam Kinzinger said.

The Illinois congressman also told CBS’s Face the Nation public hearings planned for June will aim to “lay the whole story out in front of the American people … because ultimately, they have to be the judge” of Trump’s attempt to hold on to power.

Kinzinger and nine other House Republicans voted to impeach Trump over the Capitol attack, which a bipartisan Senate committee linked to seven deaths.

But Senate Republicans stayed loyal, acquitting Trump, and Kinzinger is one of four anti-Trump House Republicans who have since announced their retirements.

He and Liz Cheney of Wyoming are the only Republicans on the January 6 committee.

The June hearings, Kinzinger said, will involve laying out “what led to January 6, the lies after the election, fundraising, the 187 minutes the president basically sat in the Oval Office [as the Capitol was attacked] … the response by [the Department of Defense].

“It’s important for us to be able to put that in front of the American people because ultimately, they have to be the judge. The Department of Justice will make decisions based on information but the American people … have to take the work we’ve done and decide what they want to do with it or what they want to believe.”

Majorities of Republicans in Congress and in public polls believe – or choose to support and repeat – Trump’s lie that Biden stole the presidency via electoral fraud.

Prominent Trump supporters in Congress who have advanced that lie and were involved in attempts to overturn the election before 6 January have refused to speak to the House committee.

“I won’t say who I think we need to talk to yet,” Kinzinger said. “I mean, I think everybody needs to come and talk to us. We’ve requested information from various members.

“In terms of whether we move forward with a subpoena, it’s going to be both a strategic tactical decision and the question of whether or not we can do that and get the information in time. Decisions we make every day.”

Kinzinger added, “I think ultimately, whatever we can do to get that information. I think if that takes a subpoena, it takes a subpoena.

“But I think the key is, regardless of even what some members of Congress are going to tell us, we know a lot of information … we’re going deeper with richer and more detail to show the American people.”

Kinzinger said he would “love to see” Mike Pence, Trump’s vice-president who ultimately refused to reject electoral college results on 6 January, testify before the committee.

“I hope he would do so voluntarily,” he said. “These are decisions I think that we’re going to end up making from a tactical perspective in the next week or two, because we basically pinned down what this hearing schedule is going to look like, the content.

“And as we go into the full narrative of this thing. I would hope and think that the vice-president would want to come in and tell this story, because he did do the right thing on that day. If he doesn’t, we have to look at the options we have available to us if there’s information we don’t already have.”

A lawyer for Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, a far-right Republican congresswoman shown in court filings by the committee to have been in contact with the White House around 6 January, has claimed she was in fact a victim of the riot.

“I’d love to ask her a few questions,” Kinzinger said. “We know some things. I won’t confirm or deny the text messages of course, but let me just say this.

“For Marjorie Taylor Greene to say she’s a victim, it’s amazing … I mean, she assaulted I think a survivor … from a school shooting at some point in DC. She stood outside a congresswoman’s office and yelled through a mail slot and said [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] was too scared to come out and confront her.

“And then when Marjorie Taylor Greene is confronted she’s all of a sudden a victim and a poor helpless congresswoman that’s just trying to do a job? That’s insane.

“We want the information.”


Martin Pengelly in New York

The GuardianTramp

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