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Kinzinger Says He ‘Thought About’ Firing Weapon at the Capitol on January 6

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) speaks during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., March 10, 2021. (Ting Shen/Pool via Reuters)

Representative Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.) admitted recently that he considered using his gun on January 6 as a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

In an interview with CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp for Rolling Stone, Kinzinger described how he attended the start of the Electoral College certification in the House chamber before he went and “hunkered down” in his office for six hours “with my gun out, prepared to defend against my own party” on January 6.

Cupp asked whether Kinzinger had contemplated whether he would have to discharge his firearm on American citizens and the congressman said, “Yeah, I thought about it.” 

“If you’re already at a point where you’re beating down police officers, and you’re willing to sack the U.S. Capitol, which hadn’t been done in hundreds of years, if you come face-to-face with Chief RINO in his office, who doesn’t believe that Donald Trump won reelection, yeah, they’re going to try to fight and kill me, and I’m not going to let that happen,” Kinzinger said, referring to the “Republican in name only” insult that many Republicans have thrown at him.

He said that at around 2:30 p.m. on January 6, a “bad feeling” came over him.

“There was a moment where I was like, ‘Man, there’s a real sense of evil.’ I can’t explain it any further than that. … I just felt a real darkness, like a thick, bad feeling. And there was about a 15-to 30-minute time frame, where, at one point, you realize they’ve breached the Capitol. I know if they can breach those outer lines, they can get anywhere, including my office,” he told Cupp.

“I had been targeted on Twitter that day and prior, like, ‘Hangman’s noose. We’re coming for you,’” said Kinzinger, who instructed his staff to stay home that day over concerns that violence could break out. “And people know where my office is. So I barricaded myself in here, thinking, ‘If this is as bad as it seems, they may end up at my office, breaking this crap down, and I may have to do what I can.”

Kinzinger is one of only two Republicans serving on the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack, along with Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Both have been outspoken critics of President Trump in the wake of the January 6 attack.

He was one of the ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting an insurrection.

The Illinois Republican announced last month that he will not seek reelection next year, explaining that he had grown increasingly disillusioned with the money, corruption and partisan vitriol that plagues the political system.

“At this moment, that government is the problem and few have risen to do anything about it. Because in this day, to prevail or survive, you must belong to a tribe. Our political parties only survive by appealing to the most motivated and most extreme elements within. And the price pricetag to power has skyrocketed,” Kinzinger said at the time.

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