Is The January 6 Investigation A Legitimate Political Discourse?

by Elpidio Estioko

First, I would like to thank the House of Representatives under Speaker Nancy Pelosi for boldly creating the January 6 committee to investigate the failed insurrection after the Senate refused to form a joint committee to investigate the fiasco.

Two GOP representatives – Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger – joined the Democrats in creating the committee.

So far, the committee has been succeeding in uncovering truths and actual events that happened during the failed coup which have been impacting the GOP, with the active participation of Cheney as its vice-chairman.

Because of this, the Republican National Committee (RNC) thought of putting pressure on the two GOPs and in fact, would like to ease them out of the party.

The New York Times (NYT) reported that RNC voted to censure Cheney and Kinzinger for participating in the inquiry exposing the role of former President Donald Trump in spreading the election lies that fueled the riot and for directing it in his White House Oval Office.

The Republican Party officially declared the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol and events that led to it as a “legitimate political discourse.”This means that the riot, as far as the RNC is concerned, was a legal exercise and was acceptable, correct? But their key man in the Senate, minority leader Senator Mitch McConnell, thinks otherwise.

He said it was an insurrection and a riot and he was there witnessing the event unfold.

“We saw what happened,” McConnell told one reporter.

More than 150 people were injured in the attack, which led to several deaths, and nearly 750 individuals have been criminally charged in connection with it.

He criticized his own party but has a long history of playing hardball – even changing the rules of American politics, according to one writer – to benefit the Republican Party. With his latest statement, how is this possible?

RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement:

“Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger crossed a line. They chose to join Nancy Pelosi in Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol.”

In approving it and opting to punish two of their own, RNC seemed to have embraced a position that the assault and the actions during the January 6 event, were acceptable as if it were legal!

The RNC accused Cheney and Kinzinger of conspiring with Democrats to “destroy” Trump. The censure resolution stated that the RNC shall “immediately cease any and all support” to Cheney and Kinzinger as members of the Republican Party.

Pursuant to this, Cheney released a loaded statement:

“The leaders of the Republican Party have made themselves willing hostages to a man who admits he tried to overturn a presidential election and suggests he would pardon Jan. 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy. I’m a constitutional conservative and I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump. History will be their judge. I will never stop fighting for our constitutional republic. No matter what.”

Already, she has been ousted from a leadership chair within the GOP. Republican leaders have also reportedly made plans to potentially fund a Trump-backed primary challenge against Cheney in the upcoming midterm election.

As for Kinzinger, the censure is largely symbolic, who announced last year that he will not seek another term in office. Kinzinger cited his “disappointment in the leaders that don’t lead” and rising extremism within the Republican Party.

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah was among a small but vocal group of Republicans who were outraged by the RNC censure.

The resolution, which was drafted by David Bossie, a longtime conservative operative aligned with Trump, and Frank Eathorne, the Wyoming Republican Party chairman, started as an effort to expel Cheney and Kinzinger from the House Republican Conference. But committee members decided against calling for such a move, and instead settled on a censure.

What is surprising is that while the inconsistencies are happening, Trump still has strengthened his grip on the party.

This time, more Republicans have become convinced that he was not culpable for the violence.

The nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that fewer Americans, 43%, now say Trump bears a lot of responsibility for the attack than a year ago when 52% said he did.

About 32% of adults now say Trump bears no responsibility at all for the mayhem, up from 24%. Only 10% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the former president bears a lot of responsibility, down from 18% a year ago.

The nine members of the January 6 committee are: Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson (D), committee chairman; Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney (R), vice chairman; California Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D); California Rep. Adam Schiff (D); Maryland’s Jamie Raskin (D); California Rep. Pete Aguilar (D); Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D); Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria (D); and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R).

While Republicans say the January 6 event was a “legitimate political discourse” and others say it’s a riot and an insurrection, what do you fellow readers think?

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author:

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