Representative Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.) on Friday said his “biggest regret” as a congressman was voting against the first impeachment of Donald Trump over the former president’s dealings with Ukraine.
Trump was impeached in December of 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over a phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in which he suggested that Zelensky should investigate the Biden family. Those who moved to impeach Trump accused him of withholding military aid from Ukraine to pressure Zelensky into compliance.
“I want to be honest, in Congress I have only a few votes that in [hindsight], I regret. My biggest regret was voting against the first impeachment of Donald Trump,” Kinzinger wrote in a series of tweets on Friday.
“It’s important for political leaders to be transparent and admit regret when needed,” he added. “The bottom line, Donald Trump withheld lethal aid to Ukraine so he could use it as leverage for his campaign.”
Thread (and admission): 1) I want to be honest, in congress I have only a few votes that in hindset, I regret. My biggest regret was voting against the first impeachment of Donald Trump.
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) March 12, 2022
“This is a shameful and illegal act, directly hurting the Ukraine defense today,” Kinzinger said, two weeks after Russia first invaded Ukraine.
No House Republicans voted to impeach Trump over the Ukraine call. However, Kinzinger was one of ten House Republicans who later voted to impeach Trump for inciting the January 6 Capitol riot. Kinzinger, one of two Republicans serving on the January 6 select committee investigating the Capitol riot, announced in October that he would not seek reelection.
“I also remember during that campaign saying that if I ever thought it was time to move on from Congress, I would, and that time is now,” Kinzinger said in his announcement video. He said at the time that he had become disillusioned with the level of money, corruption, and partisan vitriol plaguing the political system.
“At this moment, that government is the problem and few have risen to do anything about it. Because in this day, to prevail or survive, you must belong to a tribe. Our political parties only survive by appealing to the most motivated and most extreme elements within. And the pricetag to power has skyrocketed,” Kinzinger lamented.
“After all, if a man is convinced that his very survival is at stake, he’ll part with anything, including money, to ensure he does survive. Dehumanizing each other has become the norm. We’ve taken it from social media to the streets,” he added.
At the time, Kinzinger praised his Republican colleagues who voted to impeach Trump following the January 6 riot. “I stand in awe at the courage of the other nine members in the House who voted to impeach a President of their own party knowing it could be detrimental to their political career,” he said.