Number 3 House Republican Liz Cheney called on members of her party to choose allegiance to the Constitution over the “cult of personality” of former President Donald Trump in a scathing editorial published online by the Washington Post on Wednesday.
“The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution,” wrote the Wyoming Republican. “In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand.”
Cheney was among only 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump in January, in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. She has since been harshly criticized by some Republicans, and is expected to lose her leadership position in the House Republican caucus soon.
defended Cheney during efforts to oust her in February, expressed concerns about her ability to “do her job” during a Tuesday interview on Fox News Channel. Cheney is the Chair of the House Republican Conference, making her the third ranking Republican in the House.
“I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out her job as conference chair, to carry out the message,” McCarthy said.
said the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history.”
Trump issued a statement Wednesday calling Cheney a “warmongering fool who has no business in Republican Party Leadership.” He, along with GOP Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., has endorsed New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik to replace Cheney in House GOP Leadership.
“House Republicans need to be solely focused on taking back the House in 2022 and fighting against Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and President (Joe) Biden’s radical socialist agenda, and Elise Stefanik is strongly committed to doing that, which is why Whip Scalise has pledged to support her for Conference Chair,” Scalise’s spokeswoman Lauren Fine told USA TODAY.
But in the piece Cheney wrote that she saw danger in following Trump.
“While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country,” Cheney wrote.
And she cautioned Republicans about the need to stick to “genuinely conservative principles” to fight the left, including President Biden’s spending plans and policies at the border.
“History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process,” she wrote. “I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.”