Republican Sen. Murkowski Blasts RNC for Cheney, Kinzinger Censure Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. (Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times via AP)
By Charles Kim | Saturday, 05 February 2022 06:38 PM
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on Saturday blasted the Republican National Committee on social media for censuring Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., for serving on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Select Jan. 6 Committee.
"What happened on Jan. 6, 2021, was an effort to overturn a lawful election resulting in violence and destruction at the Capitol," Murkowski posted on Twitter Saturday.
"We must not legitimize those actions which resulted in loss of life, and we must learn from that horrible event, so history does not repeat itself. As Americans we must acknowledge those tragic events, and we cannot allow a false narrative to be created. We cannot deny the truth—to suggest it was ‘legitimate political discourse’ is just wrong."
The RNC voted Friday to censure Cheney and Kinzinger for serving on the Democrat-initiated committee.
Five people died during and in the immediate aftermath of the protest and riot, including Ashli Babbitt – who was shot and killed by Capitol Police – and officer Brian Sicknick, who suffered a stroke and died the next day.
Pelosi, D-Calif., created the select committee over objections from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., about who she would allow to represent the GOP on the committee, USA Today reported in July.
Both Cheney and Kinzinger were publicly outspoken in criticizing Trump in relation to the events of that day and were appointed to the committee by Pelosi.
The House Speaker turned away other GOP members McCarthy asked to be on the panel because they were too friendly to Trump.
In a statement on Twitter, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel criticized the two Republican lawmakers for joining Democrats in "persecuting" those people involved in the protest.
"Cheney and Kinzinger chose to join 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," she wrote on Twitter after the vote Friday.
"I have repeatedly condemned violence on both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, this committee has gone well beyond the scope of the events of that day."
Both Cheney and Kinzinger following Friday’s vote said they stood behind their decision to serve on the committee.
"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 said in reference to the hundreds of Trump supporters accused of various crimes during the protest and riot.
Kinzinger, who announced his retirement in October, said his values "have not wavered," and that he is upholding his oath of office by serving on the committee.
"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 posted on Twitter Thursday. "They’ve allowed conspiracies and toxic tribalism hinder their ability to see clear-eyed."
While Kinzinger is leaving at the end of the term, Cheney is running for re-election and will face a primary challenge from a Trump supported opponent.