RNC committee advances resolution to censure Cheney, Kinzinger

Members of the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) resolutions committee on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution to censure Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), though they declined to call for Cheney and Kinzinger to be expelled from the House Republican Conference.

The resolution’s passage was confirmed to The Hill by two sources familiar with the matter. The RNC’s full body will likely vote to approve the censure on Friday at its winter meeting

The resolution criticizes Cheney’s and Kinzinger’s involvement in the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, of which they are the only two Republican members.

“This is not about them being anti-Trump,” Harmeet Dhillon, a national committee member from California and one of the sponsors of the resolution, told Politico. “There are plenty of other people in the party who are anti-Trump whose names don’t appear in the resolution. These two took specific action to defy party leadership.”

Dhillon also said that RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel spoke in favor of the resolution as passed by the resolutions committee, Politico reported. 

The resolution that advanced Thursday is a weaker rebuke of the two lawmakers than that initially put forward by two-time Trump campaign adviser David Bossie at the RNC’s annual meeting this week, which called for Cheney’s and Kinzinger’s ouster from the House conference.

This comes nearly a year after Cheney was removed from the House GOP leadership last year after she voted to impeach Trump for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 attack.

In a statement on the RNC resolution, Kinzinger said he is now “even more committed to fighting conspiracies and lies.”

“I’ve been a member of the Republican Party before Donald Trump entered the field,” he said. “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.”

He slammed the committee for choosing to censure “two lifelong Members of their party for simply upholding their oaths of office” rather than focusing “on how to help the American people.”

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

Cheney criticized Republican party leadership in a statement, saying they had “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.”

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

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) questioned the committee’s move in a post on Twitter Thursday night.

“The RNC is censuring Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger because they are trying to find out what happened on January 6th – HUH?” he wrote.

The resolution also faced pushback from some RNC members who called the effort a distraction.

“What’s sad is that a year after the attack on the Capitol, the RNC has yet to condemn those who participated in the riot,” committee member Bill Palatucci of New Jersey, who was in the room when the resolution passed, told The Hill. “The censure…is just a distracting sideshow.”

— Updated at 9:14 a.m. Feb. 4

Tags Adam Kinzinger Bill Cassidy Donald Trump Kevin McCarthy Liz Cheney Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel

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