Former President Donald Trump’s alleged role in fomenting the 6 January violence at the Capitol has made him ineligible for a continued leadership role in the Republican Party, Representative Liz Cheney has said.
“Somebody who has provoked an attack on the United States capitol to prevent the counting of electoral votes, which resulted in five people dying – who refused to stand up immediately when he was asked and stop the violence - that is a person who does not have a role as a leader of our party going forward,” Cheney said, speaking to Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace.
“The single greatest threat to our republic is a president who would put his own self-interest above the Constitution, above the national interest. And we’ve had a situation where President Trump claimed for months that the election was stolen and apparently set about to do everything he could to steal it himself,” the congresswoman suggested.
Cheney, one of the 10 Republicans who crossed party lines and voted with Democrats to impeach Trump a second time last month on the charge of “incitement of insurrection,” said the GOP now needs to show itself as the “party of truth” and to be “honest about what really did happen in 2020 so we actually have a chance to win in 2022 and win the White House back in 2024.”
Cheney, daughter of former vice president and Iraq War architect Dick Cheney, was one of a handful prominent Republicans who dismissed Trump’s claims that officials in Democratic strongholds in battleground states had conspired against him to “steal” the November election in Joe Biden’s favour. Trump accused officials in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona of using a variety of fraudulent means to rob him of votes, ranging from late-night vote dumps to manipulations involving voting machines. His allegations have failed to stand up in any state or federal court, and the Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit launched by Texas regarding the alleged irregularities in December.
“We’re going to have a lot of work we have to do. People have been lied to. The extent to which the president, President Trump, for months leading up to January 6 spread the notion that the election had been stolen or that the election was rigged was a lie. And people need to understand that,” Cheney said.
Before being censured by the Wyoming GOP, Cheney survived an attempt to dismiss her from her role as House Republican Conference chairwoman in a 145-61 vote among House Republicans.
The House impeached Trump for the second time in his presidency on 13 January, accusing him of inciting the Capitol insurrection, despite his (now deleted) tweets asking protesters to “stay peaceful” and “go home.” The Senate is expected to kick off his second impeachment trial on Monday.
On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump eviscerated the Bush wing of the Republican Party, suggesting that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had failed to keep Americans safe on 9/11, and calling the Iraq War a "big fat mistake." Trump's attacks led to the collapse of former Florida governor and expected 2016 frontrunner Jeb Bush's ratings, forcing him to pull out of the race with just two delegates in the Republican primaries after spending $130 million on his campaign.