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Politics & Government

RNC votes to censure Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger over work with Jan. 6 panel

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., listen as the House select committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol meets on Oct. 19, 2021.
J. Scott Applewhite
/
AP
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., listen as the House select committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol meets on Oct. 19, 2021.

The Republican National Committee voted to censure the two House GOP lawmakers, who are involved in investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Updated February 4, 2022 at 4:36 PM ET

The Republican National Committee on Friday voted to censure two House GOP lawmakers involved in investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, highlighting the strong hold former President Donald Trump maintains on the party.

Committee leaders, convening in Salt Lake City, voted to formally rebuke Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois for their cooperation with the House select committee investigating the insurrection.

The censure resolution referred to the panel's probe as "persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse," but after news organizations reported on the resolution, the RNC later tried to clarify the language, saying it wasn't referring to the deadly attack on the Capitol.

The two lawmakers "crossed a line," RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement that added to the original wording of the censure document. "They chose to join Nancy Pelosi in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol. That's why Republican National Committee members and myself overwhelmingly support this resolution."

On Twitter, McDaniel addressed the issue further, writing: "I have repeatedly condemned violence on both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, this committee has gone well beyond the scope of the events of that day."

The RNC accuses Cheney and Kinzinger of conspiring with Democrats to try to "destroy" Trump

"The Conference must design the strategy to stop the radical Biden agenda and retire Nancy Pelosi, tasks which require that all Republicans pull in the same direction. ... The Conference must not be sabotaged by Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger who have demonstrated, with actions and words, that they support Democrat efforts to destroy President Trump more than they support winning back a Republican majority in 2022," the document reads.

The resolution says that the RNC shall "immediately cease any and all support" of Cheney and Kinzinger as members of the Republican Party.

The censure, which was done by voice vote and passed with overwhelming support, is largely symbolic for Kinzinger, who announced last year that he will not seek another term in office. In that announcement video, Kinzinger cited his "disappointment in the leaders that don't lead" and rising extremism within the Republican Party.

For Cheney, the censure holds more weight. Already she has been ousted from a leadership chair within the GOP, and Republican leaders have also reportedly made plans to potentially fund a Trump-backed primary challenge against her in the upcoming midterm race.

Still, Cheney, despite finding herself perpetually at odds with Trump and, as a result, the ranks of GOP leadership, has reported fundraising success, pulling one of the highest donor hauls last quarter of the entire cycle.

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