GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), amidst a threat to her leadership position as the third highest-ranking Republican in the House, accused former President Donald Trump of trying to “unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure” by continuing to claim the election he lost to Democratic nominee Joe Biden was fraudulent.
Cheney, in an op-ed for The Washington Post, declared the GOP to be at a turning point because of Trump’s recent comments. “Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law. No other American president has ever done this,” she wrote.
Cheney, whose House leadership responsibilities notably include coordinating public messaging across the Republican members, argued that ignoring or embracing Trump’s messages on the election will “do profound long-term damage” to the party and the U.S.
“For Republicans, the path forward is clear,” she wrote.
First, support the ongoing Justice Department criminal investigations of the Jan. 6 attack. Those investigations must be comprehensive and objective; neither the White House nor any member of Congress should interfere.
Second, we must support a parallel bipartisan review by a commission with subpoena power to seek and find facts; it will describe for all Americans what happened. This is critical to defeat the misinformation and nonsense circulating in the press and on social media. No currently serving member of Congress — with an eye to the upcoming election cycle — should participate. We should appoint former officials, members of the judiciary and other prominent Americans who can be objective, just as we did after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The commission should be focused on the Jan. 6 attacks. The Black Lives Matter and antifa violence of last summer was illegal and reprehensible, but it is a different problem with a different solution.
Finally, we Republicans need to stand for genuinely conservative principles, and steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality. In our hearts, we are devoted to the American miracle. We believe in the rule of law, in limited government, in a strong national defense, and in prosperity and opportunity brought by low taxes and fiscally conservative policies.
Trump, who recently launched a one-way communications platform, has been attacking Cheney in recent days. Additionally, he and a growing number of Republicans are backing Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) to succeed Cheney as conference chair, a position Cheney hasn’t shown willingness to leave voluntarily.
“We want leaders who believe in the Make America Great Again movement, and prioritize the values of America First. Elise Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL endorsement for GOP Conference Chair,” wrote Trump.
Stefanik has welcomed Trump’s endorsement.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 5, 2021
Although House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has not publicly endorsed ousting Cheney — McCarthy did say on a hot-mic Tuesday that he’s “had it with her” — Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), McCarthy’s number two has done so.
“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,” a spokesperson for House Minority Whip Scalise, the second highest-ranking Republican member, said Wednesday.
Although Stefanik, 36, has only been in Congress since 2015, she still has two years on Cheney, 54, who joined Congress as Wyoming’s representative-at-large in 2017. Back at home, Cheney is also facing a primary threat.
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