Cheney and Kinzinger blast RNC's resolution to censure them

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Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., are blasting the Republican National Committee for moving forward with a resolution to formally censure them for their work on the House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol and former President Donald Trump’s role in the insurrection.

A draft of the resolution to censure Cheney and Kinzinger was initially approved by an RNC committee on Thursday, and was fully approved in a voice vote at the RNC’s winter meeting on Friday.

The measure rebukes the two Congress members for their involvement on the Jan. 6 committee.

"Cheney and Kinzinger are participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse," the draft of the approved resolution reads, "and they are both utilizing their past professed political affiliation to mask Democrat abuse of prosecutorial power for partisan purposes."

But the motion stops short of calling for Cheney and Kinzinger's expulsion from the House Republican Conference — something that Trump ally and RNC member David Bossie had initially proposed.

Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney.
Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“The leaders of the Republican Party have made themselves willing hostages to a man who admits he tried to overturn a presidential election and suggests he would pardon Jan. 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy,” Cheney said in a statement. “I’m a constitutional conservative and I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump. History will be their judge. I will never stop fighting for our constitutional republic. No matter what.”

“I’ve been a member of the Republican Party long before Donald Trump entered the field,” Kinzinger said in his statement. “My values and core beliefs remain the same and have not wavered. I’m a conservative who believes in truth, freedom, and upholding the Constitution of the United States.

“Rather than focus their efforts on how to help the American people, my fellow Republicans have chosen to censure two lifelong Members of their party for simply upholding their oaths of office,” Kinzinger continued. “They’ve allowed conspiracies and toxic tribalism hinder their ability to see clear-eyed. My efforts will continue to be focused on standing up for the truth.”

Trump supporters clash with police outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump supporters clash with police outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Cheney is facing a tough primary against Harriet Hageman, a Trump-backed challenger, in Wyoming. Kinzinger announced in October that he won’t seek reelection.

Cheney and Kinzinger are two of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump following the riot at the Capitol, and both are fierce critics of the former president.

Just this week they lashed out at Trump’s suggestion that if he is reelected, he would consider pardons for those who have been convicted of crimes related to the Jan. 6 assault.

“Trump uses language he knows caused the Jan 6 violence; suggests he’d pardon the Jan 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy; threatens prosecutors; and admits he was attempting to overturn the election,” Cheney tweeted. “He’d do it all again if given the chance.”

See full text of the resolution adopted by the RNC below.