BREAKING NEWS: Anti-Trump Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the Capitol riot committee, says he’s retiring from Congress in video where he champions the vote to impeach Trump and says the country has been ‘poisoned’ by ‘mistruths’
- The other Republican on the bipartisan panel is Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney
- Kinzinger is an Iraq war veteran who represented Illinois in Congress since 2011
Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two GOP House members on the January 6 committee investigating the Capitol riot, said on Friday that he will step down from Congress at the end of his term.
Kinzinger, 43, announced his retirement in a video where he champions the vote to impeach Trump and says the country has been ‘poisoned’ by ‘mistruths’
‘It’s also become increasingly obvious to me that in order to break the narrative, I cannot focus on both a re-election to Congress and a broader fight nationwide,’ he said in the message.
Kinzinger, an Iraq war veteran, has represented Illinois’ 16th district since 2013. Before that he was in Congress for the state’s 11th district.
The lawmaker has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump and was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him after the Capitol riot.
Kinzinger and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming are working with the majority-Democrat committee investigating the Capitol riot, which has led to a barrage of criticism from their own party.
Kinzinger during a House January 6 committee hearing where lawmakers prepare to recommend a criminal contempt charge for Trump ally Steve Bannon
He’s also been facing potential redistricting issues as Illinois is poised to lose a House seat after the 2020 census.
On Friday he decried the state of politics in America today, claiming that ‘you must belong to a tribe’ to have a political future.
‘Our political parties only survive by appealing to the most motivated and the most extreme elements within it,’ he said in an apparent reference to the violent Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol.
‘The price tag to power has skyrocketed, and fear and distrust has served as an effective strategy to meet that cost.’
He warned, ‘Dehumanizing each other has become the norm.’
Kinzinger then took a shot at Trump more directly, saying that ‘We’ve allowed leaders to reach power selling the false premise that strength comes from degrading others.’
‘As a country, we’ve fallen for those lies and now we face a poisoned country filled with outrage blinding our ability to achieve real strength. It has become increasingly obvious to me that as a country, we must unplug from the mistruths we’ve been fed,’ he said.
Kinzinger greets a US Capitol Police officer who was about to testify in front of the January 6 committee
Through the nearly five-minute video, Kinzinger doesn’t mention Trump by name.
In his outgoing message Kinzinger said that he ran for office because of his ‘conviction of our role in the world.’
‘I also remember during that campaign saying that if I ever thought it was time to move on from Congress, I would. And that time is now. But let me be clear, my passion for this country has only grown. My desire to make a difference is bigger than it’s ever been,’ he said.
‘My disappointment in the leaders that don’t lead is huge.’
After serving in Congress for roughly a decade, the lawmaker said he saw ‘little to no desire to bridge our differences.’
Kinzinger said his departure after 2022 ‘isn’t the end of my political future, but the beginning.’
He lauded the nine other lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump – and appeared to drop a hint as to why else he’s retiring.
‘I stand in awe at the courage of the other nine members in the House who voted to impeach a president of their own party, knowing it could be detrimental to their political career,’ Kinzinger said.
The video also advertised his political action committee, Country First.
The group’s website claims to want ‘to help viable candidates at the local, state, and federal levels who have the courage to put country before party, and are willing to boldly lead us toward better, healthier politics.’