25 Former GOP Lawmakers Praise Liz Cheney's 'Courage' Amid Republican Backlash

Just over two dozen former Republican lawmakers have signed a bipartisan letter praising the work of GOP Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger on the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack against the U.S. Capitol.

Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, and Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, are the only two GOP House members serving on the January 6 select committee. The attack on the Capitol was carried out by supporters of former President Donald Trump in an apparent effort to disrupt the formal certification of President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory by Congress.

Issue One, a bipartisan political reform group, released the letter from the group's ReFormers Caucus on December 17. Former House member Zach Wamp, who co-chairs the ReFormers Caucus, singled out Chaney for praise in a release.

"Even the tribalism of today's politics should not tolerate what happened on January 6," Wamp said. "Congresswoman Liz Cheney has shown extraordinary courage in the face of unruly opposition. She and Congressman Kinzinger are honoring their oath of office."

"As the Select Committee continues its bipartisan investigation, we as members of Issue One's ReFormers Caucus—a bipartisan coalition made up of more than 200 former members of Congress, governors, and Cabinet officials—commend Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) for his formation and stewardship of the Committee," the 25 Republicans wrote in the letter, which was also signed by 26 former Democratic lawmakers.

Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger
A group of former Republican lawmakers praised the work of Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) and Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) for their work on the January 6 House Select Committee on Friday. Pictured, Chaney vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and Kinzinger (R-Illinois) listen during a committee meeting on Capitol Hill on December 1 in Washington, D.C. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

"As former members, we know firsthand how essential bipartisan cooperation is for the preservation of our republic and our shared values, and we strongly commend the contributions of Republican members Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. We sincerely hope other Republicans will join efforts to pursue the truth and facts surrounding the events of January 6," they wrote.

Cheney and Kinzinger have faced substantial backlash from Trump and fellow Republicans for their involvement with the January 6 committee as well as their decisions to vote to impeach the former president after the attack. Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have called Cheney and Kinzinger "spies" for the Democrats, demanding their ouster from the House Republican Conference.

In May, Cheney was already removed from her No. 3 leadership role as chair of the House Republican Conference following significant criticism from fellow GOP lawmakers. Both Cheney and Kinzinger have been consistently critical of Trump and fellow Republicans that continue to support him in the wake of the January 6 assault on the Capitol.

"The January 6 assault presented both a warning and a call to action. The members of the Select Committee on the January 6 Attack are responding to this call by conducting a good-faith, bipartisan, and detailed investigation into the events of that day," the bipartisan group of more than 50 former House members wrote in their Friday letter.

"Each of these members deserves our deepest thanks for their willingness to put country over party and prioritize our national security," they added.

In a statement emailed to Newsweek by Issue One, former Representative Tim Roemer, an Indiana Democrat, pointed out that it has been nearly one year since the pro-Trump attack took place.

"Nearing the one-year mark of the insurrection against our representative democracy, we are still bitterly divided and polarized. Thanks to the diligent, fair, and bipartisan work of the select committee, we are starting to scratch the surface of who attacked the Capitol and the critical timeline of events," Roemer, who co-chairs the ReFormers Caucus, said.

Cheney condemned Trump, blaming him directly for the assault against the Capitol in a statement ahead of the House impeachment vote in January. "There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution," the Republican congresswoman said at the time.

Kinzinger does not plan to seek reelection in 2022. Cheney is facing a Trump-backed primary challenger but aims to maintain her seat in Wyoming. The Wyoming GOP also voted last month to no longer recognize the congresswoman as a Republican.

The hundreds of Trump supporters who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6 were largely animated by the former president's baseless claims that the 2020 election was "stolen" in President Joe Biden's favor. Although Trump and his allies continue to promote the extraordinary allegation, they have not provided substantiating evidence.

Dozens of election challenge lawsuits filed by the former president and his supporters have failed in state and federal courts. Even Trump-appointed judges have dismissed the cases. Meanwhile, audits and recounts in battleground states across the country—including in areas where the election was overseen by pro-Trump Republicans—have consistently reaffirmed Biden's win.