Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Senate Republicans rebuke party over Trump critics’ censure



Senate Republicans rebuke party over Trump critics’ censure

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
US Republican Representatives Liz Cheney (left) and Adam Kinzinger investigate former President Donald Trump’s role in the US Capitol assault. AFP

Senate Republicans rebuke party over Trump critics’ censure

Republican Senate leaders upbraided the national committee on February 9 over its censure of two lawmakers investigating former president Donald Trump over the US Capitol riot, voicing anger that it had declared the violence part of “legitimate political discourse”.

They spoke out after lawmakers Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger were formally rebuked on February 4 for joining the Democratic-led House of Representatives probe into the deadly January 6 , 2021, assault and the extent to which Trump was involved in its planning.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) sparked outrage when delegates voted overwhelmingly to say the pair were involved in “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse”.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told a leaders’ news conference in the Capitol however that January 6, 2021 was “a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power”.

“The issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views from the majority. That’s not the job of the RNC,” the Kentucky senator admonished.

The censure has widened the rift between Trump loyalists preoccupied with pushing the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, and the moderate wing, which worries that fixating on the past is a losing strategy for the November midterm elections.

Several other senior Senate Republicans have spoken out against the RNC resolution, including Minority Whip John Thune and committee ranking members Shelley Moore Capito and John Cornyn.

Trump ally Lindsey Graham called RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel to complain about the committee’s action, while her uncle, 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said it was “very unfortunate” and “stupid.”

Investigators are probing links between the Trump White House and the mob of his supporters who invaded the Capitol on the day it was due to certify Joe Biden as winner of the 2020 presidential election.

Four people in the crowd died during the violence and some 140 officers were wounded.

Hardline Trump loyalists have been pushing for months for Cheney and Kinzinger to be expelled, particularly as the investigation has closed in on the former president’s inner circle.

But the party leadership is said to be keen to put the issue behind them fearing it could be a distraction from hitting President Joe Biden on his stalled domestic agenda and spiraling inflation.

Similar public rebukes were not expected from the House, where Republican leader Kevin McCarthy keeps a tight rein on members commenting on party divisions.

Asked to comment on the censure resolution, McCarthy said it referred to party activists who weren’t at the Capitol on January 6 yet still found themselves targeted by the investigation.

The resolution that RNC members green-lit made no such distinction, however.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10