A conservative group is calling on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to boot Jan. 6 Select Committee Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., from the House Republican Conference.
"As duly elected representatives, Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger are free to serve in the House, but they should no longer do so with the privileges granted to members of the House Republican Conference," the Conservative Action Project wrote in a letter to McCarthy on Wednesday. "They should no longer be given access to the benefits of a conference they actively seek to undermine.
"We ask that the GOP conference meet immediately to vote on stripping Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger from their membership in the GOP conference. We further inform you that conservative leaders are launching a nationwide movement to add citizens' voices to this effort."
Cheney and Kinzinger are the only two Republicans on the House panel probing the breach of the Capitol on Jan. 6, tapped to serve over party objections to the committee's focus and scope. They skirted the wishes of McCarthy by joining the Jan. 6 Select Committee at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's request.
That came after McCarthy had pulled all of the Republican nominees for the committee in response to a Pelosi move to discard proposed GOP members she felt were too closely aligned with Trump.
McCarthy's five candidates included neither Cheney nor Kinzinger because of their public anti-Trump statements.
Kinzinger and Cheney were the lone Republicans to vote Tuesday night for a House resolution recommending the Justice Department weigh a contempt indictment against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.
He has recently opted to limit his cooperation with the panel's subpoena, questioning the panel's legitimacy and raising the legal argument he is bound by Trump's claim to executive privilege, despite now being a former president. The communications Jan. 6 came while Trump was president, Meadows argued.
"The actions of Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger on behalf of House Democrats have given supposedly bipartisan justification to an overtly partisan political persecution that brings disrespect to our country's rule of law, legal harassment to private citizens who have done nothing wrong, and which demeans the standing of the House," the group's letter added.
Cheney claimed Meadows was violating a congressional subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee. In arguing Meadows was not complying, Cheney offered up private text messages between Donald Trump Jr. and Meadows on Jan. 6. Meadows has insisted the leak demonstrates the committee's intentions to target Trump in a witch-hunt.
The texts featured the president's eldest son urging the chief of staff to get the president to deliver an Oval Office address to condemn the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol during the joint session of Congress to certify President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.
Meadows argued on Newsmax's "Rob Schmitt Tonight" on Tuesday – minutes before the final House vote to recommend contempt – that the supplied nonprivileged texts undermined the Jan. 6 panel's own premise the Trump administration and allies were encouraging a so-called "insurrection."
"The undersigned conservatives ask that the House Republican Conference act immediately to remove both Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., from the Republican conference due to their egregious actions as part of the House of Representative’s Jan. 6 Select Committee," the conservatives' letter read.
"As you are aware, this committee has no formal representation from Republicans. Both Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger serve at the request of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. As part of Pelosi’s team, Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger have deliberately sought to undermine the privacy and due process of their fellow Republicans, and those of private citizens, with improperly issued subpoenas and other investigatory tactics designed not to pursue any valid legislative end, but merely to exploit for the sake of political harassment and demagoguery."
Among the 50 signatories were:
- Former President Ronald Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese.
- Former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.
- Trump administration Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli.
- Media Research Center Founder Brent Bozell.
- Trump administration Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought.
- Presidential Historian Craig Shirley.
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