Illinois Rep. Kinzinger and Jan. 6 committee begin hearings on prime-time TV Thursday night

Jennifer Geer

Kinzinger, facing backlash from fellow Republicans for his criticism of Trump and GOP leadership is not seeking reelection.

(ILLINOIS) Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the two Republicans on the January 6 panel tweeted before the hearings aired,

"Tonight, we’ll begin to uncover the facts of what happened & lay them out for the American people. We owe it to the next generation to uphold our oath & defend our democracy. Self-governance requires accountability & responsibility—from each and every one of us."

The details of the hearings

The Jan. 6 committee has spent the past 11 months investigating the events leading to the insurrection of the capitol building. They want to determine if former President Donald Trump and his close allies conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The first of the six public hearings on the Jan. 6 capitol riot aired last night on almost every major network (except Fox News.)

The hearing included testimony from Capitol Police officer, Caroline Edwards, who sustained a traumatic brain injury during the riot.

Additionally, clips of people close to Trump were shown in opening statements, including his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and ex-Trump Attorney General William Barr, stating how they told Trump they saw no evidence of voter fraud.

If you missed the hearing, you can watch it on YouTube in its entirety.

What did Kinzinger say about January 6?

Kinzinger tweeted, "This is what happened on January 6th. The world watched as a violent mob attacked the @uscapitol; unleashing their rage on our frontline defenders. It was an insurrection—& it’s a moment in our history that we must ensure can never happen again."

How did a conservative Republican from Kankakee, Illinois draw the wrath of his party?

Though praised by some Democrats for his anti-Trump sentiments, Kinzinger's values align closely with conservative Republicans. Despite this, Kinzinger was censured earlier this year by the GOP along with Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming for participating in the committee investigation.

In response to the censure, Kinzinger said in a statement, "I've been a member of the Republican Party long before Donald Trump entered the field. My values and core beliefs remain the same and have not wavered." He continued, "I'm a conservative who believes in truth, freedom, and upholding the Constitution of the United States."

What's next for Kinzinger?

Kinzinger is a 44-year-old combat veteran who served as a pilot in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is currently a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard.

Kinzinger hasn't made his plans beyond Congress clear, but he did state, “this isn’t the end of my political future but the beginning.”

When are the next hearings?

The next two hearings are scheduled for Monday, June 13, and Wednesday, June 15, at 9 AM CT.

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