During the first hearing of the January 6 Committee on Tuesday, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger dismissed those alleging that Congress was at fault for investigating the Capitol riot, but not the Black Lives Matter riots that erupted and ravaged cities across the country this past year.
“Some have concocted a counter-narrative to discredit this process on the grounds that we didn’t launch a similar investigation into the urban riots and looting last summer,” he said.
“I was called on to serve during the summer riots as an air national guardsman. I condemn those riots and the destruction of property that resulted. But not once, did I ever feel that the future of self-governance was threatened like I did on January 6th. There is a difference between breaking the law and rejecting the rule of law. Between a crime, even grave crimes, and a coup,” Kinzinger commented.
The crimes perpetrated by left-wing agitators in places like Portland and Minneapolis were largely ignored, and even condoned by mainstream media actors, with CNN going so far as to call them as “mostly peaceful” on air as buildings burned in the camera background. The lawlessness persisted for weeks in many locations, with rampant arson, robbery, and violence committed against bystanders, reporters, participants, and police officers.
The anarchy persisted in Portland for nearly a year, costing the Oregon city’s Police Bureau at least $12.4 million in taxpayer dollars for overtime pay for officers to address the mass demonstrations and mayhem, an expense not including infrastructural damage and personal injury inflicted.
Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi selected Kinzinger to sit on the committee after she rejected Representatives Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s picks. Both Jordan and Banks objected to Joe Biden’s victory on January 6. McCarthy responded by withdrawing all five of his members from participating in the inquiry, which he concluded to be a purely partisan exercise based on Pelosi’s behavior.
McCarthy, who was allowed to nominate five Republicans to serve on the panel per the final House resolution, called Kinzinger and Republican Representative Liz Cheney “Pelosi Republicans” after the speaker tapped them as her own appointees.
The lawmakers were two of only ten Republicans in Congress to vote to impeach former President Trump for inciting the Capitol insurrection. Cheney received backlash from the party for her hostility to Trump, ultimately leading to her ouster as House GOP Conference Chair.
“As we begin our work today, I want to call this committee’s attention to the oath of office. An oath not to a party, not to an individual, but to the Constitution that represents all Americans,” Kinzinger remarked. “Democracies are not defined by our bad days. We’re defined by how we come back from bad days. How we take accountability for that.”