Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney has penned a slashing op-ed where she lays out a stark choice for her party between Donald Trump’s crusade to ‘delegitimize’ Joe Biden’s election and her own and fidelity to the U.S. Constitution.
Cheney issued the withering attack on elements of her own party as she prepares to confront difficult odds to maintain her elected leadership post.
Trump and Trump loyalist in Congress are already coming out against her, and Trump backer Elise Stefanik is already launching a campaign to replace her.
Republican Liz Cheney said her party is at a turning point. She called for fellow Republicans to ‘steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality.’ She faces an effort to remove her from her leadership post next week
But Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president, cast the battle as one far bigger than her own political career.
‘The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution,’ she wrote in the Washington Post Wednesday.
‘In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand,’ she said bringing up the Capitol riot that preceded her vote to impeach Trump.
‘The question before us now is whether we will join Trump’s crusade to delegitimize and undo the legal outcome of the 2020 election, with all the consequences that might have. I have worked overseas in nations where changes in leadership come only with violence, where democracy takes hold only until the next violent upheaval. America is exceptional because our constitutional system guards against that. At the heart of our republic is a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power among political rivals in accordance with law. President Ronald Reagan as our American ‘miracle.’
She notes that rival Republican minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who has undermined her position in recent comments, said in January that Trump ‘bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.’
But McCarthy and GOP leaders have coalesced around Trump since then – in a development Cheney writes could bring about further violence by undermining the rule of law.
She also ripped Trump’s election fraud claims – which the president repeated again Wednesday while once again calling her a ‘warmonger.’
‘The electoral college has spoken. More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple Trump-appointed judges, have rejected the former president’s arguments, and refused to overturn election results. That is the rule of law; that is our constitutional system for resolving claims of election fraud,’ she writes.
She called for her own party to back criminal investigations into the rioters; back a Jan. 6th commission complete with subpoena powers that does not go into matters she considers side issues that McCarthy backs; and ‘steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality.’
She only alludes to the political stakes for herself. She has floated a presidential campaign, faces a Trump-backed primary challenge in Wyoming, and her leadership job is in peril.
‘History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process. I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.
Her defiant op-ed comes as she faces a reckoning in next week’s vote to replace her. With party leaders publicly backing her opponent, Cheney’s position appears to be in grave danger. Her op-ed does not appear to make any concessions to mollify her opposition within the conference.
One Republican source told Politico Cheney was carrying out an ‘exit strategy’ and another compared her to an ‘agitator’ in a party where Trump ran on ‘law and order.’
‘It’s like she’s trying to be an agitator,’ said the GOP lawmaker. ‘It’s like she’s trying to stoke the fire to precipitate her own downfall.’
Cheney’s blunt op-ed came after President Joe Biden said the Republican Party was going through a ‘mini-revolution’ as the movement grew to topple Cheney.
‘It seems as though the Republican Party is trying to identify what it stands for,’ he said when asked about the GOP infighting. ‘And they’re in the midst of a significant sort of mini revolution.’
Biden, who’s spent more than 40 years in politics, said Democrats, who have long seen its moderate and progressive wings fight it out, have never had a disagreement like this.
‘I’ve been a Democrat for a long time. We’ve gone through periods and we’ve had internal fights and disagreements. I don’t ever remember any like this,’ Biden said.
Cheney is not fighting to keep her leadership job, according to reports, and an up-and-coming Republican congresswoman is campaigning for the position – with the blessing and support of Donald Trump.
President Joe Biden said the Republican Party was going through a ‘mini-revolution’
President Biden’s comments came as a movement grows to oust Liz Cheney from House Republican leadership over her criticism of Donald Trump
President Biden argued, however, the country needs ‘a two-party system.
‘It’s not healthy to have a one-party system. And I think the Republicans are further away from trying to figure out who they are and what they stand for than I thought they would be at this point,’ he said.
The president was asked to clarify his thoughts on the GOP after, earlier in the day, when asked about it, he said: ‘I don’t understand the Republicans.’
House Republicans are preparing to oust Cheney, a member of a prominent Republican family and the highest ranking GOP woman in the House, over her criticism of Trump for his false claims he won the election and her demand Republican acknowledge the role the former president played in the January 6th MAGA riot on Capitol Hill.
And for Cheney, a Republican congresswoman from Wyoming, the clock is ticking. She is not fighting to hold onto her leadership post, Politico reported.
Cheney has told people that if holding onto her leadership role requires having to lie or stay quiet, she doesn’t believe that’s a price worth paying, a source close to her told the news outlet.
New York Representative Elise Stefanik is actively campaigning for Cheney’s job of GOP conference chair. Trump has endorsed Stefanik, who was one of his top defenders during impeachment. Top House Republicans Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise are helping Stefanik.
The show down will likely come next Wednesday when GOP lawmakers hold their weekly meeting on Capitol Hill. There must be a motion to remove her followed by a formal vote. Three months ago, Cheney survived a similar vote on a secret ballot after some Trump supporters tried to remove her after she voted for his second impeachment.
As Republicans focus on winning back control of the House, they are increasingly turning to Trump, who still has a strong and vocal base of MAGA supporters who are expected to be active in next year’s primary and general election.
A few Republicans have defended Cheney, including Senator Mitt Romney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, but most are either staying quiet or working against her.
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, at an event in Kentucky on Wednesday, dodged a question about Cheney, saying ‘100% of my focus is on stopping this new administration.’
Trump repeatedly attacked Cheney repeatedly after she voted to impeach for his role in the Capitol riot and, on Wednesday, blasted her yet again.
‘Warmonger Liz Cheney, who has virtually no support left in the Great State of Wyoming, continues to unknowingly and foolishly say that there was no Election Fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election when in fact, the evidence, including no Legislative approvals as demanded by the U.S. Constitution, shows the exact opposite,’ Trump said in a statement.
The 2020 contest showed no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Several recounts in states confirmed Joe Biden’s win. Multiple courts threw out Trump’s legal challenges.
Several Republicans said Trump should have done more to rein in his supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6th, leaving five dead and a trail of destruction in their wake.
McCarthy even called him out on the House floor the day, saying Trump bears responsibility for the riot. Trump was impeached for his role but acquitted in the Senate. After that acquittal, McConnell said the former president was ‘practically and morally responsible’ for the events.
Trump erupted in fury. McCarthy flew down to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s residence in Palm Beach, to make peace. McConnell and Trump remain at odds.
McCarthy, who will be speaker if the party can flip five seats in 2022, said Trump remains a force in the GOP that must be considered.
‘He could change the whole course of history,’ McCarthy told The New York Times. ‘This is the tightest tightrope anyone has to walk.’
President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized Liz Cheney
Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York is actively campaigning to replace Liz Cheney in House GOP leadership
McCarthy isn’t looking for a GOP Civil War in the House while he tries to become speaker.
With Cheney and Trump at each other’s throats, he and his allies are making it clear she needs to go.
McCarthy raised questions about Cheney’s ability to carry out her duties as GOP conference chair and told Fox News he’s heard from fellow GOP lawmakers they are worried she can’t carry out the party’s message.
Ahead of his interview, he was heard, on a hot mic, telling Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy he’s lost confidence in Cheney, Axios reported.
‘I think she’s got real problems,’ McCarthy said. ‘I’ve had it with … I’ve had it with her. You know, I’ve lost confidence. … Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place.’
He then said that members of his party were growing increasingly worried about roll and how it could hurt the future of the party.
‘I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair – to carry out the message. We all need to be working as one if we’re able to win the majority. Remember, majorities are not given; they are earned. And that’s about the message about going forward,’ he said on ‘Fox & Friends.’
Cheney’s spokesperson shot back, calling on Republicans to speak up against Trump’s falsehoods.
‘This is about whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on Jan 6. Liz will not do that. That is the issue,’ said Jeremy Alder.
In February, Cheney – the No. 3 Republican in the House – survived a leadership vote 145-61 on a secret ballot. The vote was called for by Trump allies in the GOP after she was one of 10 House Republicans to vote for his impeachment.
‘There is no way that Liz will be conference chair by month’s end,’ one key McCarthy ally told The Hill newspaper on Monday. ‘When there is a vote, it won’t be a long conference; it will be fast. Everyone knows the outcome.’
McCarthy’s allies made it clear their focus is on winning back the House.
‘This is a broad range of lawmakers who have had it with her,’ a second McCarthy ally said. ‘She’s a liability, and McCarthy’s as fed up as the rest of us that she is focused on the past rather than winning back the House.’
Meanwhile, Steve Scalise and McCarthy are working to clear the field for New York Representative Elise Stefanik to replace Cheney as GOP Conference Chairwoman
‘House Republicans need to be solely focused on taking back the House in 2022 and fighting against Speaker Pelosi and President Biden’s radical socialist agenda, and Elise Stefanik is strongly committed to doing that, which is why Whip Scalise has pledged to support her for Conference Chair,’ Scalise’s spokesperson Lauren Fine told Punchbowl News.
Stefanik was a vocal and public defender of Trump during his impeachment hearings.
Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the prominent GOP family and the highest ranking Republican woman in the House, has been a fiery critic of Donald Trump
Cheney has stayed defiant. On Monday she slammed Trump for ‘poisoning our democratic system’ as he continued to falsely spout that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Trump’s office sent out a statement saying: ‘The fraudulent presidential election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as the big lie!’
Cheney snapped back.
‘The 2020 presidential election was not stolen,’ she tweeted. ‘Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.’
Trump then fought back with an emailed statement, as he remains banished from Twitter and Facebook.
‘Heartwarming to read new polls on big-shot warmonger Liz Cheney of the great State of Wyoming. She is so low that her only chance would be if vast numbers of people run against her which, hopefully, won’t happen,’ the ex-president said. ‘They never liked her much, but I say she’ll never run in a Wyoming election again!’