Congressman Adam Kinzinger is one of 12 House Republicans targeted in an ad campaign a conservative group has launched this week saying President Donald Trump obstructed the impeachment proceedings.
The congressman, however, responded Thursday with a statement calling the impeachment inquiry a distraction from other issues facing the nation.
The digital billboard, which will be on display for a dozen days near 5411 E. State St. in Rockford, features photos of Sec. of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani with duct tape across their mouths. It asks “What is Trump hiding?” and says “Rep. Kinzinger, we need the whole truth.”
The billboard is paid for by the Republicans for the Rule of Law, which describe themselves as “a group of life-long Republicans dedicated to defending the institutions of our republic and upholding the rule of law.”
The group said it is asking why the White House is blocking the testimony of key witnesses in Trump’s impeachment inquiry.
“The president doesn’t own the government and he’s not above the law,” said Republicans for the Rule of Law spokesman Chris Truax in a statement.
The House Judiciary Committee took the first steps Wednesday night toward voting on articles of impeachment against Trump, beginning a two-day session at the Capitol. The impeachment inquiry centered on whether Trump abused his presidential powers and sought help from Ukraine for his re-election.
Kinzinger, a Channahon Republican, who has been critical of the president’s comments on Twitter at times, has said he wants to know what happened with Trump and his communications with Ukraine’s president, but he’s also said Democrats went too far by starting an impeachment inquiry, stating their motivation is to overturn the election results.
“The articles of impeachment drafted (Wednesday) are the culmination of that anti-Trump fever, leaving us even more divided than before,” Kinzinger said in a statement. “There will be another presidential election in 11 months and the voters will have the final say, as was designed by our founders.”
Kinzinger believes the impeachment process is a distraction.
“Right now, we need to get back to work for the American people,” he said. “We need to find solutions to lower drug prices, maintain the incredible job growth and wage increases from this booming economy, and better protect our borders and overall national security. The continued drumbeat towards impeachment has delayed and prevented this work from occurring, and that is a disservice to the hardworking people we serve.”
Kinzinger was the lone Illinois congressman targeted in the ad campaign.
The districts of Reps. Greg Walden (Ore.), Mac Thornberry (Texas), Paul Mitchell (Mich.), Michael McCaul (Texas), Fred Upton (Mich.) Brian Fitzpatrick (Penn.), Morris Brooks (Ind.), John Katko (N.Y.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Francis Rooney (Okla.) and Martha Roby (Ala.) also were chosen for the ads.
“We’ve chosen this list of House Republicans as they have shown signs of independence, and we think they might stand up and call on the administration to let the witnesses testify,” said Carson Putnam, chief of communications for the Republicans for the Rule of Law.
While not in favor of impeachment, Kinzinger has been critical of the president’s comments on Twitter. He called on the president to redact a post referencing “lynching” and called another one of his tweets that mentioned a Civil War-like fracture if the president was removed from office “beyond repugnant.” He’s also been critical of the president’s decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria where they were supporting Syrian Kurds.
According to FiveThirtyEight, Kinzinger votes 83% of the time in line with the president’s position.
Kinzinger has no opponent in March’s Republican primary in the 16th Congressional District, which covers parts of DeKalb, Will, Winnebago, Ford and Stark counties, and all of La Salle, Grundy, Bureau, Lee, Livingston, Ogle, Putnam, Boone and Iroquois counties. Two Democrats Dani Brzozowski, of La Salle, and Benjamin Baer, of Coal City, are running for the district seat.
The ad accuses Trump of keeping key witnesses from testifying against him in the impeachment inquiry.
“President Trump has been given every opportunity to answer the charges against him,” Truax said. “He demands friendly witnesses, yet refuses to allow his most loyal supporters to testify. He complains the proceedings are unfair, yet refuses to allow his lawyers to participate in the hearings.”
In addition, a video with a similar message to the billboard will air as a commercial on “Fox & Friends” in the 16th Congressional District, and will also be promoted online.
“If President Trump really could prove he is innocent of the impeachment charges against him, he would have made some effort to do so by now,” Truax said. “If the President really does think the facts will exonerate him, why won’t he let those facts come out?”
Source: The Daily Chronicle