The head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus is planning to send a letter to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy this week calling on him to change the rules in order to remove Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from the Republican Conference for their roles on the January 6 select committee, CNN has learned.
Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona — a loyalist to former President Donald Trump who helped spearhead the push to overturn the election results in Congress — is circulating the letter to his colleagues to collect more signatures.
This letter comes the same week that CNN reported the January 6 select committee is asking telecom companies to preserve the records of certain members of Congress, including Biggs. And Biggs suggests in the letter that he’s pushing to boot Cheney and Kinzinger from the conference because the select committee is now investigating Republican members and he wants the House GOP to be able to “strategize” and “protect our own” without having Kinzinger or Cheney present at conference meetings.
Cheney and Kinzinger no longer attend the weekly GOP conference meetings.
“This proposal is not because of a policy or political difference, but because some members have chosen to work with the Democrats to investigate and potentially remove Republican Members from the House,” the letter says, according to a draft copy obtained by CNN. “Republican Conference meetings are an opportunity for elected House Republicans to come together and strategize the most effective path to push back on the radical policies of Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and the Democrats.”
Biggs denies January 6 was an insurrection in the letter and calls Cheney and Kinzinger “spies” for the Democrats.
“Many of the coming discussions will likely revolve around our defense against the Democrats’ perpetuation of the false narrative that January 6th was an insurrection and how to protect our own from their legally questionable investigative methods,” the letter continues. “Congresswoman Cheney and Congressman Kinzinger are two spies for the Democrats that we currently invite to the meetings, despite our inability to trust them.”
Kinzinger, in response, said in a tweet Wednesday evening, “I think this is interesting. Just coming off a member declaring bloodshed will happen, many pushing Covid denialism and Jan 6 trutherism…. The GOP has a choice. I am even more committed to getting truth now.”
Biggs and other members on the far right have previously called for Cheney and Kinzinger to be kicked out of the conference or lose their committee seats, so these calls aren’t new. But this letter does signify that they’re upping their pressure campaign just as the select committee investigation heats up.
McCarthy, however, has shown no appetite for punishing Cheney and Kinzinger after they accepted seats on the select committee. A senior GOP member predicted Biggs’ effort would fall flat: “Is Biden paying them to change the subject?”
This story has been updated with additional information Wednesday.
CNN’s Danelle Garcia contributed to this report.