Liz Cheney attacks Trump and her own party

WASHINGTON — Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, had just made a series of damning revelations illustrating how former...


WASHINGTON — Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, had just made a series of damning revelations illustrating how former President Trump stirred up the crowd that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when she stopped to to address members of her own party who she said were “defending the indefensible”.

“There will come a day when President Trump is gone,” Ms. Cheney said. “But your dishonor will remain.”

Her reprimand, which is part of the searing opening remarks she made during the first prime time audience to set out the January 6 committee’s findings, marked the culmination of a remarkable arc for Ms Cheney, the daughter of a prominent Conservative family, from one of her party’s most powerful leaders to one of his most vocal critics, and a reviled enemy of his de facto leader.

She did not repent as she continued to blame Mr. Trump for stoking the attack, and fellow Republicans for following his lead in spreading the lie of a stolen presidential election. This position left her marginalized by her party, with her colleagues ousting her from her leadership position and seeking to purge her from the House by giving her a MAGA-style lead challenger at her home in Wyoming.

Now, from her position as vice chair of the committee investigating the attack, Ms Cheney is leading the charge to hold Mr Trump accountable for his efforts to nullify the election.

On Thursday evening, Ms Cheney illustrated in remarks peppered with new details how, “over several months, Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated seven-part plan to nullify the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power.”

Unveiling new testimony, she illustrated how Mr Trump had persisted in pushing the fiction of a stolen election even as his senior officials told him his allegations of voter fraud were false. And she highlighted how Mr. Trump responded cheerfully when told that rioters storming the Capitol had threatened his vice president by chanting “Hang Mike Pence.”

“The president responded with this sentiment: ‘Maybe our supporters have the right idea.’ Mike Pence ‘deserves it’,” Ms Cheney said, citing testimony collected by committee investigators.

Mr Trump, she argued, had thrust the republic into “a moment of maximum danger” never seen before.

“The sacred obligation to uphold this peaceful transfer of power has been honored by every American president – except one,” Ms. Cheney said.

Those were stark words from Ms. Cheney, who had been one of the most powerful Republicans in the House when she was forced out of her leadership role last year for direct and repeated reasons. Condemn Trump’s False Election Claims and blaming him for the riot.

But Ms. Cheney did not back down, and in taking on a leadership role on the Jan. 6 panel, she elevated herself as perhaps the foremost critic of Mr. Trump in the Republican Party today. She said she considered the assignment the most important of her political career and often used language borrowed from the criminal code – spoken in a typically blunt tone – to make it clear that she believed the former president was exposed to crimes.

“Those who invaded our Capitol and fought law enforcement for hours were motivated by what President Trump told them: that the election was stolen and he was the rightful president,” Ms. Cheney. “President Trump called the crowd together, gathered the crowd together and lit the flame for this attack.”

Behind the scenes, Ms. Cheney is known to be one of the most engaged and aggressive interrogators on the panel. Video shared from Thursday’s hearing showed Ms Cheney personally pressuring Jared Kushner, the former president’s son-in-law and adviser, to find out if Mr Trump’s lawyer had threatened to resign over his misrepresentations. election statements. And it is she who rush to build a bipartisan team former intelligence analysts and law enforcement specialists on the committee staff.

Before the hearing, Ms Cheney spent much of the day polishing her opening remarks, typing away on her laptop in her suite in the Cannon House office building, one floor above the vast courtroom topped with a chandelier where she was to speak in front of a nationally televised audience. The lawmaker wrote her own speech, aides said, in consultation with a small inner circle of advisers in her office and panel lawyers.

Her husband, Philip Perry, and one of his five children attended the evening hearing, but former Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, stayed at their suburban home in Virginia. Ms Cheney, however, speaks to her father every day, either on the phone or in person, and discussed his remarks with him in the hours leading up to Thursday’s hearing.

Ms. Cheney is one of only two Republicans to serve on the committee, alongside Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who has also openly condemned Mr. Trump. Both were selected by Chair Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, after Republicans boycotted the committee in protest at her decision to bar two of their members from sitting on it.

At nearly every turn since the riot, Mr. Trump and House GOP leaders have sought to oust her from the party, including by backing his main Trump-endorsed challenger, Harriet Hageman. There are few Republicans the former president is more determined to beat than the Wyoming House member, and polls show Ms Cheney faces an uphill battle to keep her seat in a ruby-red state that still favors the former president.

“Nancy Pelosi Loves Her Handpicked Servant”, Ms. Hageman wrote on Twitter, sharing a news article about Ms. Cheney’s work on the committee. “Wyoming? Not so much.”

The congresswoman finds herself in political danger because, unlike some Republicans who have found themselves in Mr Trump’s crosshairs, she has neither sought to mend her relationship with him nor ignored his criticisms.

Apparently embracing political martyrdom, Ms Cheney had prompted speculation that she might not seek re-election – until last month when she asked to do so, shortly before the deadline.

Her broadsides against Mr Trump have fueled speculation that, win or lose this summer in Wyoming, she will mount a long-running campaign against the former president if he seeks to retake the presidency.

In a video she posted as she stood for re-election last month, Ms Cheney used the kind of lofty language she has often turned to since her split with her party last year, invoking the her state’s distinctive sense of Western honor – and perhaps a preview of what she could offer voters in 2024.

“In Wyoming, we know what riding means to the brand,” Ms. Cheney said. “We live in the greatest nation God ever created, and our mark is the Constitution of the United States.”

Ms Cheney has made no secret of the fact that she considers her work on the January 6 panel – and the political price she paid for it – historic.

“As you listen to some of my colleagues and others who think the way to answer this investigation is politics and partisanship – these people are not acting in a way that is healthy for the country,” he said. she stated. in an interview with The Dispatch this week. “And if we really want to understand why January 6 is a line that can never be crossed again, then we really need to put politics and partisanship aside and say what happened.”

She was accompanied throughout the day on Thursday by one of Mr Cheney’s old friends, David Hume Kennerly, the famous photographer who struck up a relationship with the future vice president when they both served in the White House of President Gerald R. Ford, Mr. Cheney as Chief of Staff and Mr. Kennerly as Official Photographer.

Mr Kennerly, who remains close to the family, has shown up, camera in hand, on other memorable days for Ms Cheney, including last year when she was ousted from her managerial post by her fellow Republicans.

Zach Montague contributed report.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Liz Cheney attacks Trump and her own party
Liz Cheney attacks Trump and her own party
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