Feb 4, 2022 - Politics & Policy

RNC censures Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger over Jan. 6 committee

Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger

Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republican National Committee members on Friday voted to censure Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) for serving on the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: A reported draft of the resolution says the RNC will "cease any and all support" of the two anti-Trump lawmakers.

Between the lines: The vote serves as a reaffirmation of the party’s fealty to former President Trump and his increasingly hard-line defenses of Jan. 6 rioters and attacks on the select committee.

  • The resolution accuses Cheney and Kinzinger of participating in the "persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate discourse" with their work on the committee, which is probing the Capitol riot and its underlying causes.

What they’re saying: RNC chairperson Ronna McDaniel in a statement to Axios following the vote suggested the “legitimate political discourse” referred to in the resolution “had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol,” likely a reference to the rallies that preceded the riot.

  • “Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger crossed a line,” she said of them joining the committee. “That’s why Republican National Committee members and myself overwhelmingly support this resolution.”

The other side: "She should wear it as a badge of pride," Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), another member of the Jan. 6 committee, said of Cheney.

  • "It’s a scandal, it’s an outrage and it’s a threat to our constitutional order what they’re doing, and generations to come will celebrate the courage of Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger," Raskin told Axios.
  • Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) a moderate who, like Cheney and Kinzinger, voted to impeach Trump, said the RNC has its priorities misplaced. “I think we should be focused on the elections and not this nonsense,” he told Axios.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with McDaniel's statement following the censure vote.

Go deeper