Kinzinger: Unclear what will happen if Trump refuses to testify
When asked by host George Stephanopoulos whether Trump should be looked down upon if he refused to testify, Kinzinger said that was up in the air.
« It’s a bridge we cross if we have to get there, » he said.
Other current or former presidents have testified before Congress on a variety of issues, including Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Gerald Ford, but none in circumstances quite like that arising from the investigation into the riots at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. .
« Certainly, you know, » Kinzinger said, « it’s not an unprecedented move by Congress, but it’s also, we recognize, it’s a big deal. » It’s a big move.
The former president responded to the panel with a 14-page statement that repeatedly condemned the committee – « Despite very poor television ratings, the screening committee perpetuated a show trial unlike any in this country. never seen before” – and also offered a long series of allegations about the theft of the 2020 election, some anecdotal in nature, some long since refuted and/or dismissed by the courts.
« He’s required by law to come in and he can ramble and push back anything he wants, » Kinzinger said. « That’s the requirement for a congressional subpoena, to get in. »
Kinzinger, who is not seeking reelection, is one of two Republicans on the nine-member House committee on Jan. 6, along with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). He said he expects American democracy to finally rebound from the events of Jan. 6.
« Look, what happened on January 6 was terrible, » he said. “What led up to this, and what has happened since, is what worries me the most, and democracies are not defined by those bad days but by how we come back from those bad days. It is this process. This is presented to the American people and determines that we can never do it again. ”