Adam Kinzinger shifts view, open to special prosecutor

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  • "It is time we look at the idea of an independent commission or special prosecutor," Kinzinger said
  • "I think we are getting to the point where this is too political," he added

Washington (CNN)A Republican lawmaker is reconsidering his position and now is open to the appointment of a special prosecutor or independent commission to look into alleged ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger explained his thinking in the wake of reports that Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to back off his investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
"It is time we look at the idea of an independent commission or special prosecutor," the Illinois lawmaker told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day." "I think it is time we do whatever is necessary that when this is over, we give the American people the confidence that justice, either way it goes, has been served."
    "I think we are getting to the point where this is too political," he added. "People are making determinations on whether something did or did not happen by political stripes -- not by the rule of law."
    That's a change from February, when Kinzinger said on MSNBC that calls for "a 9/11-type commission is overkill on this."
    But Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Wednesday she still has confidence in the Senate intelligence committee to get to the bottom of its investigation into the matter -- but she acknowledged that some outside assistance could be beneficial.
    "The committee has taken the investigation very seriously," she also said on "New Day." "I am convinced that we will do a good job."
    "I do think it would help if we brought in an experienced former prosecutor or an experienced investigator and I have made that recommendation to both the chairman and the vice chairman," the Maine lawmaker told Chris Cuomo.
    Democrats have long called for a special prosecutor to look into the alleged collusion, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer saying on CNN's "State of the Union" that the Senate should refuse to confirm a new FBI director unless one is appointed.
    So far, just a handful of GOP lawmakers have publicly said a special prosecutor needs to be appointed.
    An NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday found almost eight in 10 people -- 78% -- said they would prefer an investigation led by an independent prosecutor or independent commission. Just 15% said they preferred an investigation led by Congress.