Rioters face off with police at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

By AFRO Staff

The Republican National Committee on Feb. 4 voted to censure two GOP lawmakers involved in probing the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol and, in the process, seemed to suggest the rioters’ actions were acceptable.

Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois are the only two Republicans on the House committee tasked with investigating the violent mob of Donald Trump supporters who stormed Capitol Hill last year, and they have been outspoken in condemning the former president’s role in fueling the attack. They were two of 10 Republicans who supported Trump’s second impeachment after the insurrection.

Trump, who vowed to seek revenge against Republicans that voted for his impeachment, congratulated the RNC for the vote and said the party is better off without the two lawmakers.

“Congratulations to the Republican National Committee (RNC) and its Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, on their great ruling in censuring Liz Cheney and Cryin’ Adam Kinzinger, two horrible RINOs who put themselves ahead of our Country,” Trump said in a statement on Feb. 5.

Donald Trump praised the RNC for censuring two Republican lawmakers involved in investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on Capitol Hill.

The RNC censure resolution, passed at its winter meeting in Salt Lake City at the behest of Trump allies, said the lawmakers were participating in “a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

Facing criticism, RNC leaders rushed to clarify that the language pertained to supposedly innocent persons swept up in the investigation.

“Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger crossed a line,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “They chose to join Nancy Pelosi in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol.”

But, Cheney and others warned the party of the danger it faced in hinging its future on Trump’s popularity.

“The leaders of the Republican Party have 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,” Cheney tweeted. She added, “I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump. History will be their judge.”

Kinzinger also chastised his Party for their stance and said he is even more committed to “fighting conspiracies and lies.”

“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,” he said in a statement. “They have allowed conspiracies and toxic tribalism hinder their ability to see clear-eyed.” 

Other Republicans have decried the RNC’s censure of the lawmakers.

“Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol,” Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, McDaniel’s uncle, wrote on Twitter. “Honor attaches to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost.”

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