Congressman Adam Kinzinger echoed the remarks of the only other Republican on the 6 January investigative committee and called for anyone who could “shed light” on former President Donald Trump’s activities during the Capitol riot to face subpoenas from his committee.
Speaking with ABC’s Jon Karl on This Week, the Illinois congressman said that he agreed with Rep Liz Cheney’s assertion that subpoenas should be issued to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep Jim Jordan, two Trump loyalists who are reported to have spoken with the former president as the riot unfolded.
“I would support subpoenas to anyone who can shed light on that. If that’s the leader, then that’s the leader”, Mr Kinzinger said, adding: “I want to know what the president was doing every moment of that day”.
“I want to know, if the National Guard took five or six hours to get to Capitol Hill, did the president make any calls?” he continued.
The congressman’s comments suggest that a unified committee could issue subpoenas targeting numerous allies of the former president, including some sitting lawmakers who have faced questions about their interactions with the president before and during the events of the bloody assault on the Capitol.
Mr Kinzinger and Ms Cheney are the lone Republican members of the panel after Mr McCarthy pulled all of his nominations following Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s rejection of Mr Jordan and Rep Jim Banks’s nominations; both have been suggested as unfit for the committee due to their statements about the riot itself as well as efforts to investigate it, while Mr Jordan has also been named a potential material witness to the attack by Ms Cheney and others.
“The committee will go wherever we need to go to get the facts”, vowed Ms Cheney last week, seeming to suggest the use of subpoena power as well.
"I think it is very important that we issue and enforce subpoenas, as the chairman has said, and we do that quickly”, she added in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.
Congressional subpoenas can be issued by committees or subcommittees to compel the testimony of individual Americans; if enforced by the Senate, a congressional subpoena could lead to a federal court ordering the person to comply with the process. The lawmakers could also be referred to the Justice Department for prosecution.
Such a process would likely lead to a long, protracted legal battle as Mr McCarthy, Mr Jordan and other allies of the former president have denounced the investigation into the deadly riot as a partisan attack and not indicated that they will cooperate thus far.