Liz Cheney Gets New Leadership Position From Democrats After Ousting by GOP

Republican Representative Liz Cheney has been promoted to vice chairwoman of the committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riots as some members of the GOP caucus threaten to remove her from the caucus for her role on the panel, the Associated Press reported. The Wyoming representative was also ousted from her role as GOP conference chairwoman earlier in 2021.

Cheney, former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter, is a fierce opponent of former President Donald Trump and has remained determined that Congress investigate the Capitol attack that attempted to delay the certification of President Joe Biden's election victory despite backlash from GOP colleagues. She and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi developed an alliance over their bipartisan desire to get to the bottom of the January 6 events, the AP reported.

"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. "We will not be deterred by threats or attempted obstruction and we will not rest until our task is complete."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Liz Cheney Gets New Leadership Position
House Democrats have promoted Republican Representative Liz Cheney to vice chairwoman of a committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection. Cheney, R-Wy., listens to testimony from Washington Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges during the House select committee hearing on the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 27, 2021. Jim Bourg/Pool via AP

Cheney's appointment as vice chairwoman comes amid an effort by some Republicans to oust Cheney and Representative 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 Representative Andy Biggs to Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy obtained by The Associated Press called Cheney and Kinzinger "two spies for the Democrats" whom Republicans cannot trust to attend their private meetings.

"Every member of this committee is dedicated to conducting a non-partisan, professional, and thorough investigation of all the relevant facts regarding January 6th and the threat to our Constitution we faced that day," Cheney said in the statement. "I have accepted the position of Vice Chair of the committee to assure that we achieve that goal."

As the committee has met privately, Cheney has worked closely with Democrats in determining the direction of the probe. The committee's chairman, Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson, said in the statement announcing Cheney's appointment that Democrats are "fortunate to have a partner of such strength and courage" and that Cheney's insights have shaped the early work of the panel.

Cheney, "has demonstrated again and again her commitment to getting answers about January 6th, ensuring accountability, and doing whatever it takes to protect democracy for the American people," Thompson said.

The vice chair position, usually reserved for a member of the Democratic majority, gives Cheney a top role on the panel after House Republican Leader Kevin 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, and he has harshly criticized Cheney and Kinzinger for participating at her request. His office did not respond to a request for comment about Biggs' letter.

The committee's work is just getting started and could last months or years. Thompson issued broad requests for information last week to law enforcement agencies and social media companies about the planning of the insurrection, and this week he asked technology and telecommunications platforms to preserve personal communications surrounding the attack.

In July, the panel held an emotional first hearing with four police officers who battled the insurrectionists and were injured and verbally abused as the rioters broke into the building and repeated Trump's lies about widespread election fraud.

At the hearing, Cheney expressed to the officers "deep gratitude for what you did to save us" and defended her decision to accept an appointment on the committee.

"The question for every one of us who serves in Congress, for every elected official across this great nation, indeed, for every American is this," she said then. "Will we adhere to the rule of law, respect the rulings of our courts, and preserve the peaceful transition of power?"

Liz Cheney Gets Jan. 6 Promotion
House Democrats placed Republican Rep. Liz Cheney in a leadership spot on the January 6 investigation committee as some members of the GOP caucus are threatening to oust her for participating. Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks with U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell after a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 27, 2021. Jim Bourg/Pool via AP