Liz Cheney Issues Warning After Newt Gingrich Says 1/6 Committee Members May Face Jail

Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, responded with a warning after prominent Republican Newt Gingrich suggested that members of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack against the U.S. Capitol could face jail time if the GOP returns to power.

Gingrich, who served as House Speaker from 1995 to 1999, made the remarks during an interview with Fox News on Sunday morning. He predicted what will happened to the January 6 committee if Republicans take control of Congress. "The wolves are gonna find out that they're now sheep, and they're the ones who—in fact, I think—face a real risk of jail for the kind of laws they're breaking," Gingrich said.

Cheney, a staunch Trump critic, serves as the vice-chair of the House select committee investigating the January 6 violence. She tweeted a response to Gingrich's threat later on Sunday.

"A former Speaker of the House is threatening jail time for members of Congress who are investigating the violent January 6 attack on our Capitol and our Constitution," the Wyoming Republican wrote. "This is what it looks like when the rule of law unravels."

Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who also serves on the House select committee, tweeted a GIF of deceased actor Chris Farley driving a bus full of children in the 1995 film Billy Madison in response to Gingrich's remarks. Kinzinger and Cheney are the only two GOP lawmakers serving in the congressional committee.

Both Kinzinger and Cheney voted alongside eight other Republicans to impeach Trump for inciting his followers to attack the U.S. Capitol a little more than a year ago. Since then, Cheney and Kinzinger have become fierce Trump critics while also regularly slamming fellow GOP lawmakers who continue to support the former president.

As a result, the two Republicans have faced substantial backlash from Trump and members of their own political party. Cheney will face off in a GOP primary against a Trump-backed challenger later this year ahead of the 2022 midterms. Kinzinger has chosen not to seek another term. Pro-Trump Republican colleagues have dubbed the duo "spies for the Democrats," calling for their ouster from the House GOP Conference.

Hundreds of Trump supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 after the former president urged them to walk to the legislative building and "fight like hell." The crowd of rioters was largely animated by Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was "rigged" or "stolen" in favor of President Joe Biden.

Although Trump and many of his conservative allies continue to promote this allegation, they have not brought forward evidence substantiating the claim. To the contrary, more than 60 election challenge lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies failed in state and federal courts. Even judges appointed by the former president ruled against the legal challenges.

Liz Cheney
Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) responded to Newt Gingrich suggesting on Sunday that members of the House select committee investigating the pro-Trump January 6, 2021 attack against the U.S. Capitol could face jail, saying "this is what it looks like when the rule of law unravels." Above, Cheney, vice-chair of the select committee, speaks on Capitol Hill on December 13, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Image

Audits and recounts of the 2020 results across the country have consistently reaffirmed Biden's victory. Local and state GOP officials have countered many of Trump's and his supporters' claims, as have a number of former Trump administration officials. Former Attorney General William Barr, who was widely viewed as one of Trump's most loyal Cabinet members, asserted in December 2020 that there was "no evidence" of fraud that would change the election's outcome.

Newsweek reached out to Cheney's press secretary for further comment but did not immediately receive a response.