Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., one of the few Republicans to vehemently deny former President Donald Trump's claims of widespread election fraud, said that he suspects some of his Republican colleagues could have predicted the Capitol riot and even supported it.
"I won't name names, but yes, I do have that suspicion," Kinzinger told the New York Times Magazine in an interview. "I will say, if you just looked at Twitter — the whole reason I brought my gun and kept my staff home and told my wife to stay in the apartment was looking at Twitter. I saw the threats."
Kinzinger specifically called out a Jan. 6 tweet posted by Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., just prior to Trump's rally: "Today is 1776." Critics have speculated that Boebert was either aware of the rioters' plans to breach the U.S. Capitol building and/or calling for violent civilian protest.
"I don't know what that meant other than this is the time for revolution," Kinzinger said. "Maybe it was a dumb tweet that she didn't mean. Fine. I'll give her that credit for now. But if you have members of Congress who were involved in nurturing an insurrection, heck yeah we need to know."
During the insurrection, Boebert also publicized the exact location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., later claimed that Boebert "was told by the Sergeant of Arms in the chamber to not make any social media posts. It was said repeatedly. She defied it because she is more closely aligned with the terrorists than the patriots."
Late last month, Pelosi moved forward with her plan to assemble a select committee to investigate the Capitol riot after facing opposition from Senate GOP members. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the idea "purely" a "political exercise."
Kinzinger is just one of ten House Republicans who voted back in January to impeach the former president for inciting the violent insurrection that unfolded on the Capitol earlier this year. But perhaps with the exception of Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. – who was ousted from her leadership position in May over her apparent lack fealty to Trump – Kinzinger has been the most outspoken in his condemnation of the former president's election fraud conspiracies.
In the Times Magazine interview, Kinzinger said he believes that "the vast majority" of Republicans "agree with my position; they just aren't speaking out."
"If you're scared to tell the truth to people, I understand, but you need to find a different line of work," he argued. "On something as existential as this, as threatening to the Constitution — my goodness."
Earlier this year, Kinzinger launched his Country First PAC, a never-Trump political action committee that set out to reform the Republican Party, which he described as being "in the middle of this slow sink," much like the Titanic.
"We have a band playing on the deck telling everybody it's fine," he said. "And meanwhile, as I've said, you know, Donald Trump's running around trying to find women's clothing and get on the first lifeboat."
Though Kinzinger has expressed opposition to Trump, he has in the past politicked along staunchly conservative lines, voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act and repeal the Dodd–Frank Act. He also voted against the Equality Act and supports punishing sanctuary cities.