Several Republicans criticize RNC censure of Cheney, Kinzinger

WASHINGTON — Several Republicans are pushing back against the Republican National Committee’s vote to formally censure two of their own party members — Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — over of their work investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of seven Republicans who voted to convict former President Donald Trump for allegedly inciting the deadly Capitol riot, called the censure “absolutely wrong” on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

“‘I’m not here to be a representative of the Republican Party. I’m here to be the representative of Alaska people. And I take that job very seriously,” she said. “When the party is taking an approach or saying things that I think are just absolutely wrong I think it is my responsibility as an Alaskan senator speaking out for Alaskans to just speak the truth.”

The measure was adopted Friday by a voice vote at the RNC’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City, which brought together the party’s 168 members for their general session.The measure described the two members as “participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse” in their roles on the committee.

Murskowski’s remarks came a day after she tweeted, “We cannot deny the truth — to suggest it was ‘legitimate political disclosure’ is just wrong.”

“What happened on January 6, 2021 was an effort to overturn a lawful election resulting in violence and destruction at the Capitol,” she tweeted Saturday. “We must not legitimize those actions which resulted in loss of life and we must learn from that horrible event so history does not repeat itself.”

“As Americans we must acknowledge those tragic events, and we cannot allow a false narrative to be created,” she added.

Cheney and Kinzinger, the lone Republicans to sit on the Jan. 6 panel, previously faced backlash among their party for voting to impeach Trump. Despite significant GOP support for a conviction, Trump was acquitted by the Senate last February.

Kinzinger is retiring at the end of his term, while Cheney is facing a primary challenge. Cheney has outraised her primary opponent by millions.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, another Republican who voted alongside all 50 Senate Democrats to convict Trump, also denounced the RNC’s resolution, calling it shameful.

“Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol,” Romney tweeted Friday. “Honor attaches to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost.”

Following the vote to censure, Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan tweeted: “It’s a sad day for my party — and the country — when you’re punished just for expressing your beliefs, standing on principle, and refusing to tell blatant lies.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R- La., questioned the censure, tweeting, “The RNC is censuring Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger because they are trying to find out what happened on January 6th — HUH?”

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