As lawmakers rushed to vacate the chamber from the House as a crowd of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, was candid about it. that was happening.
‘It’s a coup attempt,’ Mr Kinzinger said wrote on Twitter.
Unlike a large majority of his fellow Republicans, Mr. Kinzinger remained firm in his condemnation of what happened that day and President Donald J. Trump’s role in stoking it. Some of those colleagues initially blamed Mr. Trump, but then backtracked on their criticisms and downplayed the severity of the attack. He maintained his position despite reprimands from his colleagues, his political party and even his family members.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Mr. Kinzinger to the committee after rejecting two lawmakers chosen by Republican leaders who had defended Mr. Trump after the riot. He joined Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was also outspoken in condemning Mr. Trump and the riot, as the only Republicans on the panel.
“I am a Republican devoted to conservative values, but I am sworn to uphold and uphold the Constitution – and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought after, when duty calls , I will always respond,” Mr. Kinzinger wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times last year, explaining his decision to join the committee.
Mr. Kinzinger is not seeking re-election, in part because the new redistricting map approved by state officials eliminated his Republican-majority seat. But as he doubled down on his criticism of Mr. Trump’s hold on his party, Mr. Kinzinger also signaled he could run for higher political office.
Mr. Kinzinger is an Air Force veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan before running for Congress. Now a six-term congressman, he remains a lieutenant-colonel in the Air National Guard.
He had long been critical of Mr Trump, but remained largely in tune with the former president on policy issues. Mr. Kinzinger remains a relatively conservative lawmaker, but has at times backed Democratic-drafted legislation, including sprawling gun reform legislation.