Their open dislike for and opposition to the last, and possibly next, GOP president on Friday earned GOP Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois a censure from the Republican National Committee.
The resolution was adopted during the group’s winter meetings in Salt Lake City, and came on a unanimous vote.
The two voted for President Trump’s impeachment at the end of his first term, an impeachment hastily assembled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who did not allow time to assemble evidence or facts.
She simply called the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol an “insurrection,” blamed it on President Trump, who had held a rally earlier in the day, concluded he was guilty, and insisted Congress remove him from office, even though his term already had expired.
Some Democrats have essentially admitted that the entire campaign was a pretext to try to find some way to make sure Trump does not run in 2024, which he has not confirmed he will do. He has, however, publicly stated his fans will be very happy with his decision, when it is announced.
The resolution charges that the actions of Cheney and Kinzinger on Pelosi’s special partisan committee assigned to “investigate” the riot actually is “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
The party said it now would “immediately cease any and all support of them as members of the Republican Party.”
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a longtime critic of President Trump, said, “Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol.”
Kinzinger is not seeking reelection but Cheney is in her state of Wyoming. There, however, the state party already has stripped her of party recognition and a straw poll among county GOP officials snubbed her recently, with six votes for Cheney and 59 for primary challenger, Harriet Hageman.
Pelosi’s committee, which has made clear its goal is less to discover what happened at the riot than to pin blame on Trump, is partisan because Pelosi refused to seat several members nominated by the minority GOP. Instead, she picked the anti-Trump Cheney and Kinzinger to be the “Republicans” on the committee.
USA Today noted the move shows how Trump “has maintained his grip on the party.”
Cheney lashed out at the party that put her in Congress, and made her father vice president under George W. Bush.
“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,” Cheney claimed.
RNC officials earlier had told reporters some members wanted to expel Cheney and Kinzinger and the censure move was a resolution to that.
Yahoo News said Kinzinger’s response was, “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.”
A national committeeman from Maryland, David Bossie, said the dispute was “not about dissenting views. This is about them helping [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi.”
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