Rep Adam Kinzinger is promising to provide solid evidence to prove the claims of the January 6 committee’s chairman and vice chair, Bennie Thomspon and Liz Cheney, regarding efforts by GOP members of Congress to seek pardons from Donald Trump.
The assertion that a number of Republicans in the House, including Rep Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, made behind-the-scenes requests for then-President Donald Trump to issue blanket pardons freeing them of any legal liability for the assault on Congress was one of several stunning moments that occurred during Thursday’s hearing. Mr Perry was the only member of Congress to be named by the committee that day, though Ms Cheney noted that there was evidence of “multiple” others seeking the same deal.
Mr Perry has denied that he ever sought a pardon, calling it a “soulless” lie. That statement’s factuality is likely to be determined in the next few weeks, as two of the January 6 committee’s six planned public hearings are set for later this week.
Mr Kinzinger was asked about the dispute over whether or not Mr Perry and others had sought pardons from the president during an interview Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation.
“We’re not going to make accusations or say things without proof or evidence backing it,” the Illinois Republican responded.
Any attempts by members of Congress to seek pardons in the hours after the attack on Congress would suggest at a minimum that they believed themselves to potentially be criminally liable for the attack itself. Many allies of Donald Trump in the House spent weeks before the attack occurred spreading baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election at the behest of the president.
Mr Perry’s involvement in the months-long campaign to overturn the rightful and true results of the 2020 election went further than many others’ did; in October 2021 it was reported that the Pennsylvania Republican had phoned a top official at the Department of Justice after the election and pressured the agency to open an investigation into false claims of fraud in his home state.
“My conversations with the President or the Assistant Attorney General, as they have been with all whom I’ve engaged following the election, were a reiteration of the many concerns about the integrity of our elections, and that those allegations should at least be investigated to ease the minds of the voters that they had, indeed, participated in a free and fair election,” the GOP congressman claimed in October when asked about that call.