Updated Feb 4, 2022 - Politics & Policy

RNC panel moves to censure Cheney and Kinzinger

Rep. Liz Cheney  and Rep. Adam Kinzinger during a Jan. 6 select committee meeting on Capitol Hill on December 1.
Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger during a December Jan. 6 select committee meeting on Capitol Hill. Photo:Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A Republican National Committee panel advanced a resolution on Thursday to censure Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) for their roles with the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riot, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: If the RNC were to censure two of its own when the 168 committee members vote on it at the winter meeting in Salt Lake City on Friday, as expected, it would mark a major escalation in the push to oust from the GOP Republicans seen as disloyal to former President Trump.

  • RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said it would be the "first time" she's aware of the Republican Party censuring a Congress member and GOP officials couldn't recall such a resolution used to help potentially fund a challenger — in this case, the Trump-backed Harriet Hageman against Cheney in the primary, per the Washington Post

Driving the news: McDaniel worked behind the scenes to help Trump ally David Bossie author the resolution, the draft of which passed unanimously on Thursday, WashPost notes.

  • She told WashPost RNC members had shown "tremendous support" for the resolution, which she expected to pass "overwhelmingly" Friday morning.

What they're saying: Cheney accused Republican Party leaders in a statement of making 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."

  • "I'm a constitutional conservative and I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump," she added. "History will be their judge. I will never stop fighting for our constitutional republic. No matter what."

Kinzinger, who is not seeking re-election, said in a statement that 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."

  • "They've allowed conspiracies and toxic tribalism [to] hinder their ability to see clear-eyed," he said. "My efforts will continue to be focused on standing up for truth and working to fight the political matrix that's led us to this point."

Read the resolution, obtained by the Washington Post, via DocumentCloud:

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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