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Trump Is “Guilty of a Crime,” Says GOP Jan. 6 Committee Member Adam Kinzinger

The Jan. 6 committee is set to meet this Monday to vote on issuing criminal referrals to the DOJ.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger speaks during a discussion at the Salt Lake City Public Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 20, 2022.

A Republican member of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election said that he believes former President Donald Trump is “guilty of a crime.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois), one of two GOP members on the January 6 committee (and one of 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection after the Capitol attack), suggested that panel members were likely to make criminal referrals for the former president to the DOJ.

“I think he’s guilty of a crime. I mean, look, he knew what he did. We’ve made that clear. He knew what was happening prior to January 6,” Kinzinger said, referring to the committee’s exposure of Trump’s actions in public hearings this past summer.

Kinzinger specifically cited the fact that Trump had pressured Department of Justice (DOJ) officials to help him overturn the election.

“He pressured the Justice Department officials to say, ‘Hey, just say the election was stolen and leave the rest to me,'” Kinzinger noted. “And then the Republicans all need to put the stamp of approval on it.”

Failing to make a referral to the DOJ would send a troubling message, Kinzinger went on:

I think he is absolutely guilty. If he is not guilty of some kind of a crime, I mean, what we’ve basically said is presidents are above the law and they can do everything short of a coup as long as it doesn’t succeed.

Kinzinger’s statement is the strongest indication yet from a member of the committee that the panel will likely refer charges for Trump.

The committee is set to make criminal referrals during its next (and likely final) public hearing, which is set to take place this coming Monday, committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) told reporters on Tuesday.

Thompson did not indicate who would be the subject of referrals, or for what reasons. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) indicated that there would be multiple referrals for several individuals.

“Different strokes for different folks,” Raskin said to The Associated Press. “Everybody has made his or her own bed in terms of their conduct or misconduct.”

Directly before the attack on the Capitol, Trump had peddled incendiary lies about election fraud to his loyalists, telling them they would “never take back our country with weakness,” and encouraging them to go directly to Congress to interrupt the legislative branch as it was meeting to confirm the election’s results.

As the January 6 committee has pointed out, Trump didn’t take action to stop the attack on the Capitol after it began for 187 minutes (more than three hours). During that time, many of his aides, confidantes and family members pleaded with him to call off the mob, which Trump eventually did — although he told his loyalists that he “loved” them while doing so.