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RNC Declares Siege on US Capitol ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’

February 4, 2022 by Dan McCue
<strong></img>RNC Declares Siege on US Capitol ‘Legitimate Political Discourse’</strong>
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., vice chair of the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, and her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, walk in the Capitol Rotunda at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Republican National Committee formally censured Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., on Friday, taking the extraordinary step of also declaring the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol “legitimate political discourse.”

Both Cheney and Kinzinger had long ago broken with party leadership by choosing to condemn the deadly riot and participate in a select committee investigation into former President Donald Trump’s alleged role in causing it.

The page-long article of censure was approved by voice vote during the RNC’s annual winter meeting.

It states that Cheney and Kinzinger “are participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse, and they are both utilizing their past professed political affiliation to mask Democrat abuse of prosecutorial power for partisan purposes.”

Upon the vote, the resolution said, Cheney and Kinzinger would immediately be censured and that the committee would “immediately cease any and all support of them as members of the Republican Party.”

But not everyone agreed. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said, “Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol. Honor attaches to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost.”

Cheney responded to her censure by suggesting the Republican Party had made itself a “willing hostage 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.”

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

“I’ve been a member of the Republican Party long before Donald Trump entered the field,” Kinzinger said in a separate statement. “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.

“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,” Kinzinger continued. “They’ve allowed conspiracies and toxic tribalism to hinder their ability to see clear-eyed. My efforts will continue to be focused on standing up for the truth.”

The sharp rebuke illustrated the iron hold former President Donald Trump has over the GOP, and comes just days after he used a campaign-style rally in Conroe, Texas, to dangle the prospect of pardons for the Trump loyalists who pressed their way into the Capitol in a bid to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

“If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly,” Trump said last Saturday night. “And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons, because they are being treated so unfairly.”

On Friday, Cheney and Kinzinger’s party accused them of being “destructive” to the institution of the U.S. House of Representatives, to the Republican Party and the nation as a whole.

It accused them of engaging in actions not befitting Republican members of Congress, including participating in the select committee’s “disregard for minority rights, traditional checks and balances, due process, and adherence to other precedent and rules of the U.S. House.”

In doing so, the party said, Cheney and Kinzinger “seem intent on advancing a political agenda to buoy the Democrat Party’s bleak prospects in the upcoming midterm elections,” the party said.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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