GOP Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times on Tuesday to explain that he accepted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s appointment to serve on the House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, because "self-governance requires accountability and responsibility."
He said that the country needs "answers and we need accountability, and the only way to get that is a full investigation and understanding of what happened to ensure nothing like this ever happens again."
Kinzinger pointed out that "I’m a Republican dedicated to conservative values, but I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution — and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer."
He insisted that such a probe "should include a serious look at the misinformation campaigns and their origins, the lies being perpetuated by leaders — including by former President Donald Trump — and what impact such false narratives had on the events leading up to and following Jan. 6."
Kinzinger stressed that "we need to be fearless about understanding the motivations of our fellow Americans, even if it makes us uncomfortable about the truth of who they are and the truth of who played what role in inspiring them."
The Illinois Republican wrote that "without question, the work of this committee needs to be a nonpartisan effort. It cannot continue to be a partisan fight, where we’re taking every opportunity to discredit each other for perceived political points or fund-raising efforts."
He added that "the childish mudslinging is not helpful and damages the already fragile integrity of our institutions. I urge all of my colleagues — as well as the American people — to unplug the rage machine and see this situation through clear eyes: America was attacked, and we deserve to know why and how it happened."
Kinzinger also emphasized that "We need to restore some trust in this country, and that requires a full investigation of what happened and how the insurrection was able to take place ... We need the facts — and we need to lay them out for the country to see for themselves and face them head on."
He wrote that "In order to heal from the damage caused that day, we must acknowledge and understand what happened, hold the responsible people accountable, learn from our past mistakes and move on — stronger and secured in knowing that we as a nation will never let this happen again."
The congressman said that he takes seriously the oath he took to uphold the Constitution and defend democracy, which he said he has taken "in my capacity as a member of Congress and in my service in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard. And I’m committed to upholding my oath by serving on this committee to ensure we have accountability and transparency about the Jan. 6 insurrection."
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