Adam Kinzinger Blasts Groups Aiming to 'Overthrow' Government, Calls Them 'Bored People'

Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, condemned groups who want to "overthrow" the government, describing them as "bored people" and urging the GOP to "denounce" them.

The Republican congressman's remarks came as he was asked about the right-wing "Justice for J6" rally planned for Saturday in Washington, D.C. Hundreds are expected to attend the event in support of the pro–Donald Trump rioters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6. CBS News reported that far-right members of the extremist groups Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys plan to attend the weekend event.

"Let's keep in mind the Oath Keepers may try to sound like they're some constitutional America flag-waving thing. No, they are all about the overthrow of the federal government," Kinzinger told CNN on Thursday morning.

The GOP lawmaker slammed groups promoting the overthrow of the government. "This overthrow the government fetish that exists, I don't understand it except there's a lot of bored people out there that probably never served a day in their life in the military and get to go play dress up," he said. Many of the rioters who attacked the Capitol on January 6 wore military gear or dressed in historical U.S. military costumes.

Adam Kinzinger
GOP Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said that while "the Oath Keepers may try to sound like they're some constitutional America flag-waving thing…they are all about the overthrow of the federal government." Above Kinzinger questions witnesses during the Select Committee investigation of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on July 27. ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

"It is time for the Republican Party to denounce militia-ism and to just say, 'We are a country that takes our disagreements and we discuss them in Congress. We don't do this violently and with all this angst that everyone has nowadays.'"

Fencing has once again gone up surrounding the Capitol ahead of the Saturday rally, as Capitol Police take precautions in fears of a repeat of the violence that occurred on January 6. On that day, hundreds of Trump's supporters stormed the legislative building in an apparent bid to prevent the formal certification of President Joe Biden's election win. Prior to the assault, Trump urged his followers at a nearby rally to "march" to the Capitol and "fight like hell.

Matt Braynard, a spokesperson for Look Ahead America which is organizing the "Justice for J6" rally, dismissed Kinzinger's criticism in an email to Newsweek.

"The congressman struggles with the truth. We're anti-violence and pro-democracy. We are standing up for the non-violent protesters who are being persecuted and demanding an investigation into the shooting of Ashley Babbitt, an unarmed woman who was killed by a police officer," Braynard said.

"I challenge the congressman to meet with me and here are [hear our] evidence. A majority of the American public agrees with us and he is on the wrong side of justice and history," he said.

Babbitt was shot and killed by Capitol Police officer Lt. Michael Byrd as he guarded the lobby of the House of Representatives chamber on January 6. The pro-Trump rioter was attempting to climb through a glass window that had just been smashed by the protesters when she was shot, according to video shared widely online.

"If they get through that door, they're into the House chamber and upon the members of Congress," Byrd told NBC News after he was cleared of wrongdoing by the Capitol Police and the Justice Department. The officer said he only shot as a "last resort" and said that he saved "countless lives."

Although supporters of the January 6 attack have attempted to rewrite history and claim that the rioters were "peaceful," hundreds of photos and videos as well as journalists' reports from that day present a very different reality. Many of the rioters openly advocated for harming or killing top lawmakers, including then Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Kinzinger has become staunchly critical of Trump and many other GOP lawmakers in the wake of the January 6 violence. The Republican congressman was among the 10 GOP House members to vote to impeach the former president for inciting the violence targeting the Capitol. He is also one of two Republicans—the other being GOP Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming—appointed by Pelosi to serve on the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack.