AP

Luria, Kinzinger put careers on line in Jan. 6 investigation

Jul 20, 2022, 3:00 AM | Updated: Jul 21, 2022, 9:17 am

FILE - Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., listens as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 20...

FILE - Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., listens as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, June 16, 2022. Luria and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who will lead questioning in the closing summer hearing of the Jan. 6 committee on July 21, are from opposite parties but agree emphatically on one thing: the investigation into the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol is worth sacrificing their political careers.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Reps. Elaine Luria and Adam Kinzinger, who will lead questioning in the closing summer hearing of the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday night, are from different parties but agree emphatically on one thing: The investigation into the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol is worth sacrificing their political careers.

Luria, a Democrat first elected in 2018, is facing a difficult reelection in a Virginia swing district that was redrawn to be more Republican. Kinzinger, a Republican who’s a pariah to some in his party because of his condemnation of former President Donald Trump, decided not to seek another term in his Illinois district.

The two also are military veterans and have invoked their service oaths as part of their reason for pressing the inquiry. Luria is a Naval Academy graduate who served 20 years, including as a nuclear-trained surface warfare officer who commanded 400 crewmembers in the Persian Gulf. Kinzinger flew combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq and remains a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard.

“You’re going to see the fulfillment of the meaning of the sacred oath that all of us take that have served in government, to preserve and protect the Constitution and the United States,” said Norm Eisen, who served as special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee from 2019 to 2020, during Trump’s first impeachment trial.

“But it’s one that — particularly those who serve in the military, like the two of them, and put their lives on the line — take to heart,” Eisen said.

The most prominent and imperiled committee member is Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the vice chair, who has been unsparing in her criticism of Trump. She was removed by her own party as the No. 3 House Republican and now faces a potentially uphill primary battle for reelection in her deeply red home state.

Cheney’s immediate political fortune, as well as that of Kinzinger and Luria, may provide the most direct answers to larger questions about whether the hearings into the mob attack on Jan. 6, 2021, will chip away at Trump’s continued hold of the national Republican Party. They could also offer clues about whether efforts to fully make public the former president’s responsibility in helping spark the mob attack can be a boon to front-line Democrats during November midterm elections that could otherwise be brutal for their party.

“Mr. Kinzinger and I, who are both veterans leading this committee, I think, as veterans of the military, understand what action looks like in a time of crisis,” Luria told CNN last weekend. She added of Trump’s actions: “I look at it as a dereliction of duty. He didn’t act. He had a duty to act.”

The hearing on Thursday will focus on Trump’s actions as rioters overran the Capitol. Witnesses will describe what occurred during the 187 minutes between when the then-president addressed supporters who had gathered in Washington by imploring, “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” and his releasing a video in which he praised the rioters as “very special” while also asking them to disperse.

Luria has said repeatedly that the committee’s work defending American democracy is more important than her prospects for reelection in her district. During an interview last summer, shortly after she was appointed to the committee, Luria also argued that her serving on it bolstered her credibility as a pragmatic moderate in a centrist district.

“I think it’s incredibly important for the American people to understand what happened, why it happened and what we can do to prevent something like that from happening in the future,” Luria said then. While campaigning, she has referred to the insurrection as a dry run, saying such an attack might happen again unless the root causes of the first one are fully exposed — and that voters have expressed gratitude about that effort.

Republican Virginia state Sen. Jen Kiggans, who is trying to unseat Luria in November, said the election won’t be decided by the Jan. 6 committee.

“I have never had a single voter, or person (whose) door I’ve knocked on, or civic league I’ve visited or event I’ve attended, I’ve never had a single person come up to me and say that this is the main issue they’re focused on,” Kiggans said. “On a daily basis, I hear over and over and over again about gas prices and grocery prices and grocery shortages and how much everything is costing them from their home repair projects to their kids’ school supplies to going out to eat at a restaurant.”

Kinzinger has represented his Illinois district since 2013. He voted to impeach Trump and announced last fall that he wasn’t seeking another term in Congress after the Democrat-controlled Illinois Legislature approved new congressional maps that would have forced Kinzinger and another Republican incumbent who has more reliably defended Trump, Rep. Darin LaHood, into a primary matchup.

Still, Kinzinger hasn’t ruled out seeking elective office in the future.

“When you fight for your nation and you fight for people, it makes you believe in something bigger,” Kinzinger said in an interview last summer.

Eisen, a former Obama administration ambassador to the Czech Republic and senior governance studies fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that the political stakes are real for Luria and Kinzinger, adding that “losing an election is never pleasant” but “they all understand that might be a consequence.”

“In some ways, their willingness to take that risk actually enhances the power of the example that they set,” Eisen said. “History’s going to be kind to them. I don’t think any of them will have regrets.”

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the Jan. 6 hearings at https://apnews.com/hub/capitol-siege.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

3 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

4 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

11 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

12 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

14 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Luria, Kinzinger put careers on line in Jan. 6 investigation