Rep. Liz Cheney says the Republican Party is at a “turning point” over whether to accept lies from former President Donald Trump, risking further violence and endangering America’s democracy.
In an opinion piece published Wednesday by the Washington Post, the Wyoming congresswoman and third-ranking Republican in the House — who may soon be stripped of her leadership post for not falling in line behind Trump — said Trump’s false claims that the presidential election was stolen threaten to undermine faith in elections and the rule of law.
“No other American president has ever done this,” she wrote.
“The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution.”
— Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
“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,” Cheney wrote, adding that while embracing or ignoring Trump’s claims might be politically expedient, “that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country.”
Cheney’s political future has been imperiled by her refusal to accept Trump’s false claims, and her call for a repudiation of Trump’s nationalist, authoritarian rhetoric if the Republican Party hopes to regain the voters it lost to Joe Biden in the election. Trump loyalists in the House may replace her as conference chair as soon as next week.
In her op-ed, Cheney called for Republican support for the Justice Department’s investigations into the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and for a parallel investigation by a bipartisan commission, similar to the 9/11 commission. “This is critical to defeat the misinformation and nonsense circulating in the press and on social media,” she said.
“History is watching.” she said. “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.”