In an interview with the CNN podcast “The Axe Files,” Representative Adam Kinzinger defended his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the Capitol insurrection. He says he knew that doing so could likely cost him his seat in the House given the partisan political climate.
“I did it knowing full well it could very well be terminal to my career,” he said. “But I also knew that I couldn’t live with myself having, you know, try to just protect it and just felt like the one time I was called to do a really tough duty, I didn’t do it.”
“I’ll say to anybody that thinks my vote was for politics, they don’t know me. And I would say now they don’t know politics because, you know, you have to get through a primary,” he added. “And would it make me more able to win a general election? Probably. But that’s not why I did it.”
Kinzinger was one of 10 Republicans to vote to impeach Trump after a mob of his supporters, spurred by his lies about election fraud, attacked Congress in a bid to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died in the assault.
The Senate impeachment trial is set for the second week of February. The date was pushed back to give Trump time to make a defense. It is unlikely enough Republicans will vote to convict the former president for inciting the insurrection against Congress.
Kinzinger’s comments come a day after a widely-circulated Washington Post interview in which he said he knows that voting to impeach Trump has damaged his career prospects.
“The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead,” he told The Washington Post, quoting a scene from the HBO World War II series Band of Brothers.
“I’m willing to blow this whole thing out of the water at all times,” he said of his career in politics, noting that since he voiced support for holding the former president accountable, he has “felt very isolated in my party. Very isolated and very lonely.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.