June 3: Congressman Adam Kinzinger: A Vision for Reform of the Republican Party
About This Event
After the 2020 presidential election, in which Trump was defeated by Joe Biden, Kinzinger denounced Trump’s false claims that the election was “stolen” and criticized Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. In December 2020, after Trump repeated his baseless claims of fraud on Twitter, Kinzinger tweeted that it was time for Trump to delete his Twitter account. He also criticized the Texas Republican Party, and called for the firing of its chairman Allen West, when the party floated the idea of secession, after the Supreme Court rejected Texas v. Pennsylvania, a bid by the state of Texas to overturn the presidential election outcome.
On January 7, 2021, the day after the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a violent pro-Trump mob, Kinzinger became the first Republican member of the House to call for Trump’s removal from office via the 25th Amendment. In a video message, Kinzinger said that Trump had “abdicated his duty to protect the American people and the people’s house,” and his behavior made it clear that he had become “unmoored” from both his duties as president and “reality itself.” He urged Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, saying that Trump was “unfit” and “unwell.” Five days later, Kinzinger announced that he would vote in favor of the Trump’s second impeachment. He stated that there was “no doubt” that Trump “broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection.” He also accused Trump of using the power of his office to launch a direct attack on Congress. He asked, “If these actions–the Article II branch inciting a deadly insurrection against the Article I branch–are not worthy of impeachment, then what is an impeachable offense?” On January 13, he joined nine other Republicans in voting for impeachment. In response, some Republicans have vowed to support a primary challenge to Kinzinger. Kinzinger received a letter from eleven members of his family asserting he had joined “the devil’s army” for publicly turning against Trump. Kinzinger said the family members suffer from “brainwashing” from conservative churches that led them astray.
In early 2021, a few weeks after the 2021 Capitol riot, Kinzinger launched the Country First PAC, as a means to reform the Republican Party and distance itself from far-right conspiracies, including QAnon.