Newt Gingrich in an interview said January 6 committee members could be jailed.
Rep. Liz Cheney, a Republican committee member, hit back in a tweet.
Trump allies are seeking to undermine the commission, portraying it as a partisan witch hunt.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming hit back at the veteran GOP operative Newt Gingrich after he suggested that she and other members of the House commission investigating the January 6, 2021, riot could be arrested and jailed.
Gingrich, an ally of former President Donald Trump who was the speaker of the House during the Clinton administration, in an interview with Fox News on Sunday said that if Republicans won back control of Congress in the midterm elections, members of the January 6, 2021, commission could face criminal penalties.
"I think when you have a Republican Congress, this is all going to come crashing down," Gingrich told the host Maria Bartiromo.
"And the wolves are going to find out that they're now sheep and they're the ones who are, in fact, I think, face a real risk of jail for the kinds of laws they're breaking," he added.
Gingrich appeared to suggest that the investigations of those involved in the riot were illegal.
—Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) January 23, 2022
In a tweet, Cheney hit back at the claim.
"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. This is what it looks like when the rule of law unravels," it said.
In an op-ed in Newsweek last week, Gingrich accused the Democratic-majority panel of seeking to persecute ordinary conservatives.
"House Republicans owe it to the Constitution and the American people to defeat the wolves and return them to sheep status," he said, outlining a series of measures he said Republicans should be taking to investigate and punish those involved in the commission.
Trump allies are intensifying their campaign to downplay the seriousness of the riot, even as the committee brings new details to light. Some Trump allies have pushed the baseless conspiracy theory that the FBI instigated the violence in a plot to ensnare Trump supporters.
Cheney and the other Republican on the commission, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, have been ostracized from their party and accused of treachery by Trump and others.
Kinzinger in a tweet responded to Gingrich's comments with a mocking image.
—Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) January 23, 2022
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