Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger prepare for blockbuster hearing amid attacks from their own party
Republicans looking to undermine an investigation into January 6 are returning to a familiar playbook for the GOP: invoking Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
After Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois joined Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming in becoming the lone Republicans to serve on the select committee, the GOP started to ramp up its attacks on the duo, accusing them of harboring an anti-Trump agenda and suggesting they're just doing the speaker's bidding. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy even debuted a new label on Monday, tagging Kinzinger and Cheney as "Pelosi Republicans."
The California Republican also forced a floor vote Monday evening on a resolution demanding that Pelosi accept his original picks for the panel who the speaker had vetoed. While the effort inevitably failed, it did once again put Cheney and Kinzinger in the same camp as the Democratic Party, as they were the only Republicans to vote in favor of the motion.
By linking Kinzinger and Cheney to Pelosi -- who is seen as toxic in the most conservative corners of the GOP -- Republicans are hoping to puncture the pair's Republican credentials as a way to chip away at the overall credibility of the bipartisan probe. Meanwhile, a growing number of House Republicans are clamoring for Kinzinger and Cheney to face internal consequences for accepting committee seats from the California Democrat, sources tell CNN, though GOP leaders have little appetite to go that route.
"They have stupidly sided with Democrats in a way that begs the question of their desire to be a part of our conference," said Rep. Chip Roy, a Texas Republican. "But I'm gonna let the leader decide what he thinks is the right path forward."
Of course, Kinzinger and Cheney are accustomed to living on an island these days. They were two of just 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump and the sole GOP lawmakers to vote in support of the select committee. Their Republican colleagues, upset that they broke ranks and accepted Pelosi's nominations, are now attempting to brandish them as an extension of the Democratic Party.
"The problem isn't that there's Republicans serving on the committee. The problem is who picked the Republicans and the Republicans that are picked," Rep. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
Armstrong was one of the three McCarthy picks that Pelosi deemed acceptable to serve. The speaker and other Democrats have even suggested that Armstrong, Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois and Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas are welcome to join the committee if they'd like. But all three have stuck by McCarthy and turned down the opportunity.