Representative Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican and vice chairwoman of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021, described former President Donald J. Trump in stark terms on Wednesday night as a threat to the republic who had “gone to war with the rule of law.”
“At this moment, we’re confronting a domestic threat that now we have never faced before — and that may be a former president who’s attempting to unravel the foundations of our constitutional republic,” Ms. Cheney said in a speech on the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., where her address was met with a sustained standing ovation.
“He’s aided by Republican leaders and elected officials who made themselves willing hostages to this dangerous and irrational man,” she said, continuing, “Even in spite of everything we’ve seen, they’re enabling his lies.”
Ms. Cheney spoke at a moment when Mr. Trump is potentially on the verge of announcing a presidential campaign for 2024, based on his advisers, raising the prospect of a front-running candidate in early polls who can also be facing lively civil and criminal investigations. Mr. Trump has also continued to repeat lies about his 2020 election loss, maintaining that the competition was “stolen” from him.
“As the complete picture is coming into view with the Jan. 6 committee, it has turn out to be clear that the efforts Donald Trump oversaw and engaged in were much more chilling and more threatening than we could have imagined,” Ms. Cheney said.
Republicans, she said at one other point, “must select,” because they “cannot each be loyal to Donald Trump and constant to the Structure.”
It was a striking commentary from the daughter of a Republican former vice chairman, Dick Cheney, against the present leader of the Republican Party, whilst he’s out of office. Ms. Cheney had been a supporter of Mr. Trump’s until shortly after the 2020 election, when she criticized him for his baseless fraud allegations.
In May 2021, she said she regretted voting for him the previous yr.
Ms. Cheney, who was forced out of her leadership post because the No. 3 Republican within the House last yr as she repeatedly excoriated Mr. Trump for the events of Jan. 6, has turn out to be a reasonably isolated presence inside a celebration that is still heavily in thrall of the previous president.
She is seen as a possible presidential candidate within the 2024 election, wherein she could attempt to plant a flag showing how the party has morphed from the one her father helped lead into one reshaped by Trumpism.
Ms. Cheney began her speech by talking about undemocratic countries world wide and nations which can be adversaries of the USA, including Russia and China. From there, she talked about Mr. Trump.
She praised Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s last White House chief of staff, for her public testimony in Congress a day earlier.
“Her bravery and patriotism were awesome to behold,” Ms. Cheney said.
Ms. Cheney is facing a Trump-backed primary challenger for her Wyoming congressional seat in August, and the race is widely seen as an uphill battle for her.