Defense of Trump is 'hypocrisy' by Republicans, Congressman Kinzinger says

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans joining Congress's probe of the assault on the Capitol by Donald Trump supporters, accused members of his party of "hypocrisy" for defending the former president's handling of classified documents.

"The hypocrisy of folks in my party that spent years chanting ‘lock her up’ about Hillary Clinton because of some deleted emails or quote unquote wiping a server are now out there defending a man who very clearly did not take the national security of the United States to heart," Kinzinger said during an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press."

On Friday, the Department of Justice released a redacted version of an affidavit that helped it win court approval for an Aug. 8 FBI search of Trump's Florida estate. The affidavit disclosed that law enforcement was investigating possible criminal activity, including obstruction of justice, after classified documents were found there and others already were returned to Washington.

Trump says he has done nothing wrong and is the victim of a political attack.

Trump and many other Republicans for years castigated his 2016 campaign rival former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for having used a private email server for some official public communications, some of which contained classified information.

Trump has regularly led political rallies with supporters chanting "Lock her up."

Kinzinger and Representative Liz Cheney are the two Republicans on the nine-member House special committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and Trump's activities surrounding that day.

Kinzinger, who opted not to seek re-election, said that either in upcoming hearings or in a formal committee report, there will be "more depth" revealed on Trump's behavior during the riot. He added, "One of the more intriguing things is going to be some of the financing ... a vast majority of this money was raised under 'stop the steal' with no intention of doing anything to stop the so-called steal."

Trump falsely claims that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election through massive fraud, an assertion that has been rejected by several court rulings, the former president's own Justice Department and even Republican-led investigations at the state level.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Lisa Shumaker)