GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger chokes up while telling police who fought off pro-Trump mob on January 6 that ‘you guys won’

Rep. Adam Kinzinger wiping away tears.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger wiped his eyes as he listened to testimony during a hearing by the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol on July 27. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger praised the officers who held off the pro-Trump mob on January 6.
  • Choking up in a House hearing on the Capitol riot, Kinzinger said: “You guys won. You guys held.”
  • Kinzinger also criticized the “toxic” behavior of fellow Republicans attacking the House probe.
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Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Tuesday became emotional as he praised the officers who helped fight off the violent, pro-Trump mob that descended on the US Capitol on January 6.

“You guys may feel, individually, a little broken,” Kinzinger, a US Air Force veteran, told the officers during the first hearing held by the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. He added, “But you guys won. You guys held.”

“Democracies are not defined by our bad days. We’re defined by how we come back from bad days,” Kinzinger continued.

Kinzinger, one of two GOP lawmakers on the committee, also criticized his fellow Republicans over their efforts to downplay the insurrection and dismiss the probe as a partisan sham.

“We still don’t know exactly what happened. Why? Because many in my party have treated this as just another partisan fight. It’s toxic and it’s a disservice to the officers and their families,” Kinzinger said.

The January 6 insurrection was provoked by President Donald Trump and his lies about the 2020 election. He repeated the false claim that the election had been stolen from him and urged the thousands of supporters who gathered near the White House that day to march on the Capitol. The rioters delayed but failed to prevent the certification of President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

In the immediate aftermath of the Capitol attack, a number of top Republicans condemned the rioters and excoriated Trump for inciting the riot. But the GOP’s tone shifted within weeks, and Senate Republicans ensured that Trump was acquitted after he was impeached over the insurrection. Republicans have since engaged in a coordinated effort to whitewash the insurrection and rewrite history, while pushing against efforts to investigate the Capitol attack.

Senate Republicans in late May blocked a bill to establish an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection. This prompted the House to vote in favor of establishing a select committee to investigate the riot.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarty last week recommended five Republicans for the committee. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two of his picks: Trump loyalists Reps. Jim Banks and Jim Jordan. Both Banks and Jordan objected to the certification of the election results.

McCarthy, who also objected to the certification and spoke to Trump on the day of the insurrection, subsequently pulled all his picks and said Republicans would pursue their own investigation. The GOP leader has dismissed the official House inquiry as a partisan “sham.”

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming has joined Kinzinger as the other Republican on the nine-member panel. Kinzinger and Cheney were among the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the January 6 insurrection.