Liz Cheney opens Jan. 6 hearing with shots at GOP: 'No member of Congress should defend the indefensible'
Rep. Liz Cheney. (Screenshot)

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) took shots at her fellow Republicans for trying to block a full accounting of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The Wyoming Republican, who was stripped of her leadership responsibilities after voting to impeach Donald Trump, blamed Senate Republicans for preventing a nonpartisan investigation of the U.S. Capitol riot, leaving the process up to the Democratic-controlled House.

"Everyone on the dais would have preferred a nonpartisan commission," Cheney said. "It was defeated in the Senate. That leaves us where we are today."

Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who was also among the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over his role in the insurrection, are the panel's only two GOP lawmakers -- and she warned that the attack must be fully investigated to prevent another one from succeeding.

"If those responsible are not held accountable, and if Congress does not act responsibly, this will remain a cancer on our constitutional republic, undermining the peaceful transfer of power at the heart of our democracy system," she said.

Cheney said she disagrees on policy and politics with almost every Democratic member of the committee, but she reminded her fellow Republicans they swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

"We are one nation, under God," she said. "The framers of our Constitution recognized the danger of the vicious factionalism of partisan politics and they knew that our daily arguments could become so fierce that we might lose track of our most important obligation, to defend the rule of law, and the freedom of all Americans."

"When a threat to our constitutional order arises, as it has here, we are obligated to rise above politics," Cheney added.

She urged the committee members to issue and enforce subpoenas to uncover who was responsible for the deadly riot, despite efforts by her fellow Republicans to block the investigation.

"We must overcome the many efforts we are already seeing to cover up and obscure the facts," Cheney said. "On Jan. 6 and in the days thereafter, almost all members of my party recognized the events of that day for what they actually were. One Republican, for example, said, 'What is happening at the U.S. Capitol right now is unacceptable and un-American. Those participating in the lawlessness and violence must be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.'"

"No member of Congress should now attempt to defend the indefensible," she added, "obstruct this investigation or whitewash what happened that day. We must act with honor and duty and in the interest of our nation."

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