Cheney, Kinzinger Prepare for Blockbuster Hearing Amid Attacks by Their Own Party



After Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois joined Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming in becoming the only Republicans on the select committee, the GOP began to step up its attacks on the duo, accusing them of having an anti- Trump and suggest that they just do the speaker’s bidding. Minority parliamentary leader Kevin McCarthy even launched a new label on Monday, calling Kinzinger and Cheney “Pelosi Republicans”.

The California Republican also forced a floor vote Monday night on a resolution demanding Pelosi accept his original choices for the panel the president had vetoed. While the effort inevitably failed, it once again put Cheney and Kinzinger on the same side as the Democratic Party, as they were the only Republicans to vote in favor of the motion.

“They foolishly sided with the Democrats in a way that raises the question of their desire to be a part of our conference,” said Rep. Chip Roy, a Republican from Texas. “But I’m going to let the leader decide what he thinks is the right way to go.”

Of course, Kinzinger and Cheney are used to living on an island these days. They were two of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump and the only GOP lawmakers to vote in favor of the select committee. Their Republican colleagues, unhappy at having broken ranks and accepted Pelosi’s nominations, are now trying to brandish them as an extension of the Democratic Party.

“The problem is not that there are Republicans on the committee. The problem is who chose the Republicans and the Republicans who are chosen,” Representative Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota said in the report. CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” show.

Armstrong was one of three McCarthy picks Pelosi found acceptable to serve. The speaker and other Democrats even suggested that Armstrong, Representative Rodney Davis from Illinois and Representative Troy Nehls from Texas be invited to join the committee if they wish. But all three stayed by McCarthy’s side and turned down the opportunity.

“If they think it’s going to gain credibility with 50% of the country, I would actually say those two (Cheney and Kinzinger) are probably – there’s a particular level of contempt across the country.” Armstrong said.

The Republican rebel couple are set to find themselves even more isolated as they embark on a massive investigation into the assault on Capitol Hill that the rest of their party has called unnecessary and, in some cases, attempted. to prevent completely. The high-level presence of Cheney and Kinzinger on the panel, which Democrats rely on to bring bipartisan legitimacy to the inquiry, has undoubtedly placed them directly in the intra-party line of fire.

And it’s the Democrats running to their defense, a sign of how the politically perilous mission has endeared Kinzinger and Cheney on the left but made them even bigger outcasts on the right.

Speaking to reporters at an event at the White House Rose Garden on Monday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer took issue with the idea that Cheney, a rock-ribbed conservative from a political dynasty Republican, and Kinzinger, a former Midwestern Air Force pilot, were Liberals, Pelosi’s henchmen.

“The difference is, and this is the key, that they both believe in the truth,” Hoyer said. “It shouldn’t be a partisan question. The truth should be an intellectually honest quest, and that’s what Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are going to do.”

And a Pelosi assistant tweeted a ProPublica page this shows that McCarthy voted with Pelosi 37% of the time, which is more than Cheney.

“Not only does Congresswoman Cheney have a more conservative voting record than Minority Leader McCarthy, just last year McCarthy praised her for doing an ‘amazing job’ as leader of the Republican House Conference, “said Robyn Patterson, spokesperson for Pelosi. in a report.

For Cheney and Kinzinger, they dismiss what they called the GOP leader’s “childish” insults and clarify that it is not about Pelosi, the party or politics, but rather a oath to the Constitution.

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“We have serious business here,” Cheney said, just before heading to a select committee meeting. “We have important work to do.”

A sign of how well Democrats view the roles of their GOP colleagues in the investigation, Cheney will make an opening statement directly after President Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, at the select committee’s first hearing with police officers on Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the matter.

And in an unusual move on Monday afternoon, the Republican members of the select committee joined the Democrats for a preparation session, going through the questions and previewing some of the never-before-seen videos of the Capitol assault that will be shown during the hearing of the panel. . Sources within the committee said that at this point the group acts as a cohesive unit, as opposed to two separate sides. It is a trend that they hope will continue and lead to positive results.

House Republicans are still trying to figure out exactly how they will launch a sustained response to the Democrats-led investigation into the Capitol storm, although they want to address the security flaws. In the meantime, however, they are stepping up their attacks on Pelosi, Kinzinger, and Cheney.

“Clearly Pelosi only wants members of this committee who stick to his talking points and stick to his narrative,” said Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, one of the Republicans. Pelosi barred from serving on panel, on “Fox News Sunday.” “That’s why she chose the group she already chose. And anyone she asks to be on this committee, from now on, will be glued to her story, to her point of view.”

A growing number of GOP members, especially in the hard-line House Freedom Caucus, are asking McCarthy to fire Kinzinger and Cheney from their other committee assignments, even though Pelosi could ultimately prevent that from happening.

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Some Republicans predict that the GOP conference will have at least one special meeting to debate the idea.

“They are clearly making (Pelosi’s) offers to the committee,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican from Alabama. “This will be dealt with by the whole conference, I’m pretty sure. The whole conference will take care of this. We have a political conference tomorrow, and I guess the motion will be presented there. down, then we will have to have a special conference on this issue, to discuss the issue. “

Kinzinger, however, said he was not worried about the threat of punishment.

“We are doing great things right now,” he told reporters. “If the conference decides or if Kevin decides they want to punish Liz Cheney and I for shedding light and telling the truth, I think that probably says more about them than it does us.”

Kinzinger – whom Pelosi called personally on Sunday morning to formally ask him to join the panel, a source familiar with CNN told – also said he was not afraid to subpoena other GOP members if he did. This is where the inquiry of the select committee is conducted.

“I want to know where the facts are leading, and if that includes members who played a role in the organization or whom they knew or who tried to cover themselves, that is important,” he said.

CNN’s Annie Grayer contributed to this report.




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