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Several establishment Republicans push back on party’s punishment of Cheney and Kinzinger

<i>Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images</i><br/>Sen. Mitt Romney
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Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Sen. Mitt Romney

By Shawna Mizelle, CNN

Several establishment Republicans, including 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, are publicly criticizing their party’s decision to censure GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger over their service on the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

The criticism underlines the ongoing intra-party feud between loyalists to former President Donald Trump and some elements of the Republican establishment that continue to push back against his de facto leadership of the party.

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

“The RNC is censuring Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger because they are trying to find out what happened on January 6th – HUH?” Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who voted to convict Trump over his role in the riot, tweeted as the RNC’s motion advanced.

“The GOP I believe in is the party of freedom and truth. 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,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wrote on Twitter.

Cheney and Kinzinger are the lone Republicans serving on the January 6 select committee. Cheney previously faced rebuke for her decision to vote to impeach Trump, which resulted in her removal from GOP House leadership, and was also censured in February 2021 by the Wyoming Republican Party as a result. Kinzinger, meanwhile, has decided not to seek reelection.

Both have remained unrepentant in their criticism of Trump.

“If the price of being willing to tell the truth and get to the bottom of what happened on January 6, and make sure that those who are responsible are held accountable is a censure, then I am absolutely going to continue to stand up for what I knew was right,” Cheney told CNN this week. “And I think that it is a sad day for the party of Lincoln that that’s where we are.”

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