Kinzinger says he hopes Bannon indictment for contempt of Congress ‘sends a chilling message’

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the House select committee investigating January 6, said Friday that he hopes a federal grand jury’s indictment of Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress “sends a chilling message” to anyone considering not cooperating with the panel.

“I think it sends a really important message to future invited witnesses, folks who are subpoenaed. You cannot ignore Congress. You may not like it, you may not like the investigation. You may think nothing wrong was done, but you’re not going to be able to avoid it, and that’s important for the people of the United States to be able to have their voice heard, to be able to get answers in Congress,” the Illinois Republican said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.”

“This is certainly a good thing, and I hope it sends a chilling message to anybody else that was going to follow through like this.”

The Justice Department on Friday announced the indictment against the former Trump adviser that charged him with one count related to his refusal to appear for a deposition and another related to his refusal to produce documents in the House of Representatives January 6 committee probe. The House panel — which has issued 35 subpoenas to date, including to former White House officials, Trump campaign officials and organizers of the rallies and events leading up to the January 6 attack — has said it will consider pursuing contempt or other proceedings to enforce subpoenas for those who don’t comply with the committee.

Kinzinger, who has faced criticism from members of his party for serving on the select committee, told Tapper that “there is absolutely no doubt” Republicans would do away with the congressional probe of the events leading up to the January 6 insurrection, should the party regain control of Congress. Kinzinger announced his retirement from the House in October and told CNN earlier this month he is considering at least a statewide run if not a presidential one.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who would likely chair the House Judiciary Committee if the GOP wins control of the chamber next year, tweeted a warning to the White House following the Bannon indictment. “Joe Biden has evicerated Executive Privilege. There are a lot of Republicans eager to hear testimony from Ron Klain and Jake Sullivan when we take back the House,” he said.

But Kinzinger said the select committee is “just asking for answers.”

“So I certainly think this will have a chilling effect in terms of anybody that’s been trying to resist, and I certainly hope we don’t have to keep repeating this. We just want answers. That’s it. It’s a pretty simple request,” he added.

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