Jul 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Elaine Luria, Adam Kinzinger to lead Thursday's primetime Jan. 6 hearing

Reps. Elaine Luria and Adam Kinzinger.
Reps. Elaine Luria and Adam Kinzinger. Photos: Kevin Dietsch, Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Reps. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) are set to lead the questioning in Thursday's prime-time Jan. 6 hearing, a responsibility the lawmakers attribute in part to their military backgrounds.

Driving the news: The veterans have each tied their military service oaths to their motivation in pressing the inquiry, and Luria accused former President Trump last weekend of a “dereliction of duty" for failing to act during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

  • "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's "State of the Union."
  • "I look at it as a dereliction of duty. He didn’t act. He had a duty to act," Luria said.
Who is Elaine Luria?
  • The former Navy commander was first elected in 2018 to represent Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.
  • She serves on the House Armed Services Committee and Committee on Veterans Affairs and has made her work on the Jan. 6 panel a part of her re-election push.

Thursday's hearing comes as the Democrat is facing off against a fellow Navy veteran in what is expected to be one of the most competitive races in the country for Republicans.

  • "Getting this right, getting the facts out there and making some change in the future so that this doesn’t happen again, it’s so much bigger than whether you’re re-elected or not," Luria told the Washington Post.
  • "I don’t want to make my bid for re-election seem petty, but that’s inconsequential. Does that make sense? And if I win, it will be a very strong statement about the work of the committee."
Who is Adam Kinzinger?
  • The major in the Air National Guard — who served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq — is serving his sixth and final term in Congress.
  • He announced last year that he is not running for re-election.
  • A fierce critic of former President Trump, Kinzinger is one of two Republicans to serve on the Jan. 6 panel. He was one of 10 House Republicans to vote for Trump's second impeachment.

Kinzinger has been open about the numerous threats — to him and his family — over his participation in the select committee hearings.

  • "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, AP reports.

What to watch: Thursday's hearing is set to focus on former President Trump's reported inaction during the 187 minutes that a violent mob attacked the Capitol, aiming to show that he deliberately chose not to intervene, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.

  • Luria and Kinzinger will play recorded and in-person testimony to highlight evidence that Trump was fully briefed and aware of the events that were unfolding on Jan. 6, but decided not to intervene immediately.

Go deeper... 187 minutes: Jan. 6 hearing to show Trump's deliberate inaction

Go deeper