WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats have promoted Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, of Wyoming, to vice chairwoman of a committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, placing her in a leadership spot on the panel as some Republicans are threatening to oust her from the GOP conference for participating.
Cheney, a fierce critic of former President Donald Trump, has remained defiant amid the criticism from her own party, insisting that Congress must probe the Capitol attack, in which hundreds of Trump’s supporters violently pushed past police, broke into the building and interrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
“We owe it to the American people to investigate everything that led up to, and transpired on, January 6th,” Cheney said in a statement as Democrats announced her promotion on Thursday. “We will not be deterred by threats or attempted obstruction and we will not rest until our task is complete.”
Cheney’s appointment as vice chairwoman comes amid an effort by some Republicans to oust Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, of Illinois, from the GOP conference because they accepted their appointments to the panel from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A draft letter by Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs to Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy obtained by The Associated Press calls Cheney and Kinzinger “two spies for the Democrats” whom Republicans cannot trust to attend their private meetings.
Biggs, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, is calling on the conference to change its rules to state that any Republican who accepts a committee assignment or serves on a committee without a recommendation from GOP leadership “shall immediately cease to be a Member of the Conference.”
Cheney, who was already booted from her position as GOP conference chairwoman earlier this year, has been undeterred by the criticism, despite serious primary challenges back home. The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney has formed the unlikely alliance with Pelosi in what she has framed as an existential fight for the party and for democracy itself.
The vice chair position, usually reserved for a member of the Democratic majority, gives Cheney a top role on the panel after McCarthy decided not to appoint any of his members to the committee. McCarthy pulled all five Republicans he had chosen after Pelosi rejected two of them.
The committee’s work is just getting started and could last months or years.