'When duty calls, I will always answer': Kinzinger agrees to serve on Jan. 6 committee
Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger agreed Sunday to serve on the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol.
"Let me be clear, I'm a Republican dedicated to conservative values, but I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution -- and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer," Kinzinger said in a statement released Sunday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added him to the panel.
Kinzinger will join Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney as the only Republicans on the panel so far. After Pelosi rejected two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's nominees for the committee, the Republican leader withdrew his other three selections.
He's also threatened to remove Cheney from her committee assignments if she serves on the panel.
McCarthy didn't mention Kinzinger by name Sunday, but issued a statement attacking Pelosi's selections and the credibility of the pending inquiry.
"Speaker Pelosi's rejection of the Republican nominees to serve on the committee and self-appointment of members who share her preconceived narrative will not yield a serious investigation," the California lawmaker said. "The Speaker has structured this select committee to satisfy her political objectives. She had months to work with Republicans on a reasonable and fair approach to get answers on the events and security failures surrounding January 6. Instead, she has played politics."
The House voted in May to create an independent commission that would have been evenly split between the parties. But after Senate Republicans blocked the commission, Pelosi create the House select committee to carry out an investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Pelosi said Sunday she still will consider McCarthy's three other GOP nominees, including U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis of downstate Taylorville, as well as other Republicans who have expressed interest in serving on the committee.
Kinzinger, a harsh critic of former President Donald Trump and many fellow Republicans, said Sunday a full investigation into the events of Jan. 6 is necessary to dispel lies and conspiracy theories about what happened that day.
"For months, I have said that the American people deserve transparency and truth on how and why thousands showed up to attack our democracy, and ultimately, what led to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Complex on January 6, 2021," he said. "This moment requires a serious, clear-eyed, nonpartisan approach. We are duty-bound to conduct a full investigation on the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814 and to make sure it can never happen again."
Kinzinger, a Channahon resident, represents Illinois' 16th District, which includes parts or all of 14 Illinois counties from the far Northwest suburbs and the Rockford area to downstate Ford County.
He's facing several challengers in next year's Republican primary, a couple of whom took swipes at him for agreeing to serve on the panel.
"193 days ago, Adam Kinzinger joined the Democrats to vote for the sham impeachment of President Trump," challenger Catalina Lauf of Woodstock posted via Twitter. "Today, he once again joined the Democrats by accepting Pelosi's appointment to the partisan January 6th committee."
Another challenger, Jack Lombardi of Manhattan, issued a statement Sunday calling Kinzinger a "patsy" for Pelosi.
"By accepting Nancy Pelosi's appointment to the sham January 6th Commission, Adam Kinzinger has demonstrated that he values the applause of Democrats and the liberal media over the interests and values of the 16th District," Lombardi said.
The first committee's first hearing is set to take place Tuesday. Other members include Democrats Bennie Thompson of Mississippi; Elaine Luria of Virginia;, Jamie Raskin of Maryland;, Stephanie Murphy of Florida; and Pete Aguilar, Adam Schiff and Zoe Lofgren of California.
The panel also is considering hiring former GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman of Virginia as an adviser.
• Daily Herald wire services contributed to this report.