ABC News: 'This Week' Transcript 8-1-21: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Secretary Pete Buttigieg & Rep. Adam Kinzinger
Joining us now for an exclusive interview is one of the two Republicans serving on that committee, Congressman Adam Kinzinger.
Congressman Kinzinger, thank you for joining us. I want to ask you, Bennie Thompson, the chair of the committee, said that there will be many subpoenas issued as part of this investigation, and issued soon.
Who do you expect that we'll see subpoenaed to appear before the committee?
KINZINGER: Well, I don't want to get into naming names at this point. I think what we need to know is what happened. So, if you look at it, what is it going to take to find out what happened?
It's going to take talking to a lot of people. It's going to take thorough investigations. We want to do this expeditiously. We want to get to the answer. We don't want to drag this out.
But we want to know -- I think this is, kind of, like the shot we have as a country to get answers to what led up to it, what really happened and what happened in the aftermath.
And so I would expect to see a significant number of subpoenas for a lot of people. But I think the bigger thing is just what is the message that's going to come out this, is that the American people deserve the truth. They need the truth. Even if they -- even if there are some folks on, you know, some TV channels that don't want to talk about it, the truth needs to be out there for event those folks' kids to know in the future.
So it's going to be a thorough investigation, that's for sure.
KARL: One -- one of the big questions is what Donald Trump was up to in the White House as this riot was unfolding. Liz Cheney has suggested, including in an interview on "This Week," that anybody who spoke to Donald Trump during those hours should come and testify before the committee.
She suggested it could even mean subpoenas -- a subpoena for Kevin McCarthy. Now we've learned Jim Jordan also talked to Donald Trump on January 6th.
Would you support subpoenas to the Republican leader in the House and to -- and to Jim Jordan?
KINZINGER: I would support subpoenas to anybody that can shed light on that. If that's the leader, that's the leader. If it's anybody that talked to the president that can provide us that information, I want to know what the president was doing every moment of that day, after he said, "I'm going to walk with you to the Capitol," after Mo Brooks stood up and said, "We're going to kick backside and take names. Today's the day that, you know, patriots take their country back from other people."
I want to know what they were doing, because that's going to be important. I want to know -- you know, if the National Guard took five or six hours to get to Capitol Hill, did the president make any calls?
And if he didn't, why?
And if he did, of course, then how come the National Guard still takes five hours?
I think, had the president picked up the phone and made a call, the Guard would have been there immediately.
This is stuff that we can't, you know, sweep under the rug of "That was a whole seven months ago, you know, history," that some people are trying to do because it's political inconvenient.
If anybody is scared of this investigation, I ask you one question, "What are you afraid of? I mean, either you're afraid of being discovered of having some culpability in it or, you know, what?" If you think it wasn't a big deal, then you should allow this to go forward.
So this is -- it is essential for history, for the American people, for truth, that we get to the bottom of this. I think anybody with parts of that information, with inside knowledge, can probably expect to be talking to the committee.
KARL: So -- so if somebody like Kevin McCarthy, who clearly has some of that knowledge, and Jim Jordan, who seems to have some of that knowledge, refuse to testify, refuse to comply with subpoenas, if it comes to that, I don't think we've ever had a situation like that.
How -- how could you enforce, or how would you enforce a subpoena for a fellow member of Congress?
Would there be, like, a vote of...
KARL: ... or what -- how would you do it?
KINZINGER: Yeah, I think that's -- that's a question more for the lawyers that know what constitutional, I guess, trigger mechanisms or enforcement mechanisms are there.
I'll say this, I intend, at least, on the committee, to get to a full accounting of the truth. And if somebody thinks that they can stand up and use, you know, maneuvers to try to string this investigation out and hope that people lose interest and hope that they can resist, at least me, and I know the other members of the committee, are determined that we are going to get to that answer.
So it may cost you a lot in legal fees to try to resist, but we're going to get to that answer. I don't know what, you know, specific things we can do to compel.
And I'm not even sure where this -- this investigation is going to lead, who we're going to need to talk to. But I do know that the facts are going to lead where the facts lead to. And we're going to have a full accounting of that.
KARL: Well, based on what you have said, it seems clear that you would want to talk to Donald Trump himself. Am I right?
KINZINGER: Well, I -- look, I don't know. Again, it's going to depend on where the facts lead. We may not even have to talk to Donald Trump to get the information. There were tons of people around him. There were tons of people involved in the things that led up to January 6.
Obviously, if you talk to the president, the former president, that's going to have a whole new set of kind of like everything associated with it. So, when I look at that, I'm like, maybe.
But I know that we're going to get to the information. If he has unique information. That's one thing. But I think there's a lot of people around him that knew some things.
KARL: And I have to ask you, before this hearing, before this -- you kicked off this first hitting -- hearing, the Republican leadership held a press conference where they placed blame for the riot on Nancy Pelosi.
I want to play you sound from the conference chair, Elise Stefanik.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): The American people deserve to know the truth, that Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility, as speaker of the House, for the tragedy that occurred on January 6.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: I mean, my God, they have protected Donald Trump from blame here, and they're blaming Nancy Pelosi for the fact that Trump supporters invaded the Capitol, and including her office?
Can you -- can you explain to me what they're talking about?
KINZINGER: Yes, to me, it's mind-blowing, and it basically shows the desperation to try to derail this.
Now, if you think about the different audiences that exist, there's the audience of the American people, and then there's the audience of Donald Trump. All Donald Trump needs to see is that you're making a defense, no matter how nonsensical that defense is.
So, if that defense goes from -- of course, we all know it was Trump supporters and it was QAnon types that launched to this insurrection on the 6th. But if you stand in front of the proper news channel that Donald Trump watches, and you say, this is Nancy Pelosi's fault, you have just done your job. It doesn't matter if it doesn't even make any sense anymore. What matters is that you have said something to placate him.
And so, look, I mean, the speaker and I don't get along on a lot of things. On this case, we do, which is, we need answers. It's been seven months. It's time to get to the bottom of this.
And, by the way, blaming what happened on January 6 on the security posture -- and, certainly, we're going to get to the bottom of the security posture -- but that's like blaming somebody for being the victim of a crime, when the perpetrator actually executed that crime. It's insane.
And this is where we have to take back the narrative, particularly speaking as a fellow conservative to conservatives. It's like we can't do this alone.
That's why I started Country First, Country1st.com, to just say, let's take back -- let's mend division in this country, and actually get back to telling the truth to people, instead of being able to stand up and say, it's Nancy Pelosi's fault, and know that Donald Trump's happy and the truth doesn't matter.
KARL: All right, Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, thank you for joining us. We appreciate the time.
The original article and video coverage can be found on the ABC News website here.