I hope Kinzinger is right about that... and I might bet some cryptocurrency on it-- but not any real money. An Ipsos poll for ABC News indicates that 60% American adults feel that the Select Committee investigating Trump's attempted coup is conducting a fair and impartial investigation (38% say it isn't). These were the responses when asked how much responsibility Trump bears for the attack on the Capitol:
And-- most important-- when asked if Trump should be charged with a crime for his role, 58% said yes and 40% said no. This morning on Face the Nation, one of the committee members, Zoe Lofgren, was asked if the committee is laying a roadmap for the Justice Department to prosecute Trump. "The Department of Justice," she said, "has to make its own decision. We’re laying out facts, they can see it. But I’m sure they have access to other information, because they’ve got grand juries, meeting with various defendants... It’s not the role of Congress to decide who gets prosecuted."
Pelosi's pawn on the panel, chairman Bennie Thompson, said the committee will not be making any formal criminal referrals to the Justice Department but he was quickly slapped down by non-Pelosi- puppet vice-chair Liz Cheney, who indicated no decision on that has been made and hinted she may have the votes to override Pelosi and Thompson and Lofgren, another Pelosi pawn on the committee. Of the 9 members of the select committee, Pelosi chose 3 utter toadies-- Thompson, Lofgren and Pete Aguilar. Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Jamie Raskin and Elaine Luria make up their own minds. That leaves Florida Blue Dog Stephanie Murphy who is retiring from Congress rather than compete in a newly gerrymandered district that went from D+5 to R+14, and New Dem Adam Schiff who is said to be trying to decide if he'd rather run for Speaker or run for the soon to be open Dianne Feinstein Senate seat. My guess is he'd more likely vote to ask DOJ to prosect and Murphy will toss a coin or see if someone will pay her for her vote.
Michigan Republican Fred Upton is an hereditary multimillionaire who voted to impeach Trump and then got frightened off and decided to not seek reelection rather than face a Trump-endorsed candidate. He's still a weaselly little bet-hedging putz who sees nothing wrong with going to national TV and portraying American politics as a fun little game elites play with each other. Adam Kinzinger was also on TV this morning, a guest on This Week today, where, partially incoherent, he told George Stephanopoulos that "the bottom line is that... the president knew what he was doing. There was a plan." He's beyond hedging his bets.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say the president knew what he was doing, and six in 10 Americans, according to our new poll with Ipsos, believe the president should be criminally prosecuted for his role in the January 6th insurrection. But as you know, there are difficulties in prosecution as well. Proving state of mind. Proving intent is the key factor there. How do you do that?
KINZINGER: Look, I mean, what we can do, from the committee's perspective, is show, as we have so far, for instance, the pressure that was coming down on Mike Pence and how the president knew what he was doing and how he had been stopped prior at other areas. We're going to be talking Thursday about some of the stuff with the DoJ. We're going to have a discussion Tuesday about state pressure. And so you can see where the president knew all of that stuff. We can, I think, show the American people that.
Now, what can the Department of Justice do in a court of law? That's up to them. They can, have their own information. They'll be able to see what we're doing here. And it truly is unprecedented. But let's be honest, we-- this attack, this attack on January 6th is unprecedented, and the rot that led up to it is also unprecedented. It is an essential at this moment that we get a grip on this and figure out how to defend our democracy.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's up to the Department of Justice in the end, but have you reached enough-- have you reached the conclusion that President Trump should be prosecuted?
KINZINGER: I certainly think the president is guilty of knowing what he did, seditious conspiracy, being involved in these kind of different segments of pressuring the DoJ, vice president, et cetera. Obviously you know we're not a criminal charges committee, so I want to be careful in specifically using that language. But I think what we're presenting before the American people certainly would rise to a level of criminal involvement by a president and definitely failure of the oath. The oath has to matter here. Your personal demand to stand for the Constitution has to matter. And if you have people that don't regard that at all, there is no law in the world that we can pass that's going to make a bit of difference.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You're in a small minority of-- among Republicans, only one of two Republicans on the committee. Our new poll also shows a huge partisan divide, 91 percent of Democrats believe that President Trump should be prosecuted, only 19 percent of Republicans, 91 percent of Democrats believe the president bears ultimate responsibility for what happened, only 21 percent of Republicans. How do you explain that gap? How do you explain the views of a majority of Republicans?
KINZINGER: Well, look, I would guess that before Nixon, you know, really resigned, you probably see something fairly similar. This is obviously-- we're in a way worse position I think today and I think this blows, actually, Watergate out of the water.
But how do I explain it? It’s leadership, lack of leadership in the Republican Party.
So if you have people that don't trust what they hear on the media. They don’t trust what they hear from certain leaders-- and everybody has people they trust and where they get their information.
But that whole segment of leaders that Republican voters trust, that includes Kevin McCarthy. Of course, that includes Donald Trump and others.
If you're going stand in front of those people and lie to them and tell them Donald Trump's right, the election was stolen, because that has you giving me $20 when I send you the next e-mail, or it’s way easier for my primary election, we can have no doubt that 80 percent of the country is going to believe what their leaders are saying.
This is where-- like if you're not willing to tell people the truth in America, you shouldn't run for Congress. Like go do something else. But this should be a position where you can tell the hard truth.
And, unfortunately, my party has utterly failed the American people at truth. It makes me sad, but it’s fact.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It makes you sad. It also puts you under some threat.
Your staff shared some communications you and your family have received. We can't put it on the screen, it's too ugly for that, too dangerous for that.
How worried are you about your personal safety?
KINZINGER: Look, I’m not worried personally. This threat that came in, it was mailed to my house. We got it a couple of days ago and it threatens to execute me, as well as my wife and 5-month-old child. We’ve never seen or had anything like that. It was sent from the local area.
I don't worry-- but now that I have a wife and kids, of course, it's a little different. There are people that-- there's violence in the future, I’m going to tell you. And until we get a grip on telling people the truth, we can't expect any differently.
STEPHANOPOULOS: All signs are pointing to the next election having a similar controversy at the end of the day. It's very possible. We're seeing allies of President Trump being elected to run elections in state after state. I’ve already pointed out the divide between Republicans and Democrats over what happened on January 6th.
How worried are you about 2024?
KINZINGER: Very worried.
You know, I have an organization, Country First, Country1st.com. One of the things we're focusing on are those election-level elections as well, the people that will determine whether they certify an election, you know, what kind of equipment is being used.
We just saw recently in New Mexico, people refusing to certify an election because they used Dominion voting machines which are actually really good voting machines. But they bought into this conspiracy.
And this is the untold thing. We focused so much on what goes on in D.C. and Congress and the Senate. But when you have these election judges that are going to people that don't believe basically in democracy, authoritarians, 2024 is going to be a mess.
And wake up, America. Wake up, Republicans, because this is not going to be good for you if you think it is.