Cheney says GOP lawmakers fear Capitol riot investigation would expose their roles


Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said the idea of a congressional probe into the riot 'threatens people in my party who may have been playing a role they should not have been playing.'

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) accused her fellow GOP lawmakers of not wanting a commission focused on the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol because the findings would implicate them in the violent attack.

"I also think there is real concern among a number of members of my own party about a Jan. 6 commission," Cheney said in an interview with NBC News' Savannah Guthrie, which was recorded just after Cheney was ousted from her leadership role.

Republicans forced Cheney out on Wednesday over her outspoken criticism of Donald Trump and her demand that he never again hold a leadership role in the GOP because of his lies about the election and his role in the Capitol riot.

Cheney added, "I think I've been very public that that commission needs to be bipartisan. It needs to look only at Jan. 6 and the events leading up to it, not at the [Black Lives Matter] and antifa riots last summer, and I think that that kind of intense, narrow focus threatens people in my party who may have been playing a role they should not have been playing."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been pushing for a commission to investigate the insurrection that many have accused Trump of inciting with his lies of voter fraud and baseless allegations that the election was stolen from him.

However, Republicans have resisted, demanding that any probe should also look into violence that cropped up in racial justice protests in the summer of 2020, which has no connection to the insurrection.

Cheney suggested that Republicans are demanding the larger scoped probe because a narrow focus on the insurrection itself would not look good for some GOP members.

A number of GOP lawmakers pushed lies about fraud in the 2020 election — including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy himself, who days after the election baselessly said that Trump won.

"President Trump won this election, so everyone who's listening, do not be quiet," McCarthy said in a Nov. 5 interview on Fox News.

Meanwhile, a House Administration Committee report looked into social media posts of GOP lawmakers in the lead up to the insurrection and found 120 Republican lawmakers either lied about fraud or supported the plan to block certification of President Joe Biden's Electoral College win.

That message was fuel for Trump supporters as they descended upon Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6.

Now, rather than supporting an effort to find out what led to the insurrection, a number of GOP lawmakers are trying to whitewash the events that took place — either by downplaying the violence that day or painting the Trump-supporting rioters as victims.

It's this kind of behavior that Cheney condemned — and what ultimately led to her removal from her leadership role within the party.

"I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president's crusade to undermine our democracy," Cheney said in a speech the night before she was voted out of her role as House Republican Conference chair.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.