Attempts to remove Cheney from conference continue
CASPER — Far-right House members continue to push to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from the Republican Conference following her appointment Thursday as vice chairwoman of the Jan. 6 Select Committee.
Cheney has faced sustained backlash for her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump and speak out against his attempts to undermine the 2020 presidential election.
The most recent pressure on Cheney came in the form of a letter to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy from Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. The letter requested that McCarthy remove Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger — the only two Republicans currently on the Jan. 6 committee — from the Republican Conference.
“Congresswoman Cheney and Congressman Kinzinger are two spies for the Democrats that we currently invite to the meetings, despite our inability to trust them,” the letter, which was obtained by the The Associated Press, read.
Part of the reason Republicans are taking issue with Cheney and Kinzinger serving on the committee is their appointment to the panel by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a frequent target of many Republican lawmakers and voters. Both have also been unflinching in their criticism of Trump and have sought a full accounting of the events that led to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of the former president.
McCarthy offered Rep. Jim Banks and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan to serve as Select Committee members, but Pelosi rejected these nominations, leaving Kinzinger and Cheney as the only two Republicans on the committee among seven Democrats, even though the committee was originally intended to be bipartisan.
So far, the letter has only accumulated 16 signatures from lawmakers who are considered close supporters of Trump and who have perpetuated the former president’s unfounded allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert and North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn were all signatories, in addition to a number of other House Freedom Caucus members.
Even among the far right in the House, however, there appears to be division over Cheney’s and Kinzinger’s seats on the committee. The House Freedom caucus has over 40 members, but the letter received less than half of their signatures.
Cheney has not yet spoken to McCarthy about the letter, according to a spokesperson from Cheney’s office.
When Cheney and Kinzinger were first named to the committee, there was an initial push to oust the two, but McCarthy did not act.
Back on the ground in Wyoming, at least six county Republican Parties have passed resolutions to rescind recognition of Cheney as a U.S. Representative, a move that is symbolic.
Publicly at least, Cheney has shown no signs of backing down.
“We owe it to the American people to investigate everything that led up to, and transpired on, January 6th,” she said in a statement. “We will not be deterred by threats or attempted obstruction and we will not rest until our task is complete.”