Former vice president and top Republican Liz Cheney is threatening to retaliate politically against other prominent politicians in her party who have embraced the former president’s attack on democracy after losing her Wyoming congressional seat in a primary to a Donald Trump-endorsed challenger last week.
Sunday’s ABC News interview included her saying she’s closing in on some of the most prominent Republicans. She specifically named Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Ron DeSantis, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley, all of whom have publicly backed Trump’s false claim that electoral fraudsters stole the 2020 presidential campaign from him and handed it to his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
After losing in Wyoming, Cheney said she would launch a new political group and hinted at a possible presidential candidacy in 2024 to prevent Trump from being re-elected.
Her Sunday remarks gave the impression that her plans to fight election skeptics extended far beyond Trump.
She remarked, “I’m going to make sure that we can do everything we can to not… elect election deniers.” I’m going to actively support those who are fighting against them.
Cheney claimed that Republican senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri were “unfit for future office” because of their actions. “Both knew what the job of Congress is with respect to presidential elections, and yet both took acts that fundamentally undermined the constitutional system,” she added.
To prevent Biden’s 2020 victory from being certified in six swing states, Cruz played a pivotal role in hatching a scheme in the Senate. Hawley famously raised a clinched fist to protesters outside the US Capitol on January 6th, just before violence erupted, as he was the first senator to complain to Biden’s triumph. In the aftermath of the uprising, it was discovered that he had made a hasty getaway from the Capitol.
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In addition to criticizing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Cheney had some harsh words for them in his ABC News interview. If the Republicans retake the House of Representatives in November, McCarthy would be one of their top picks for Speaker.
While privately warning other party leaders, “I’ve had it with this guy,” McCarthy was initially critical of Trump’s participation in unleashing the violent storming of the Capitol. Since then, though, he has come around and is supporting Trump’s anti-democratic agenda.
Cheney has stated, “My views on Kevin McCarthy are extremely obvious.” According to the opposition, “He has been totally disloyal to the constitution. In my opinion, he is not qualified to serve as Speaker of the House.
She further claimed that DeSantis was supporting “election deniers” in his campaign. This should cause “serious pause,” Cheney added.
The Wyoming lawmaker is the co-vice chair of the House panel looking into the attack on the Capitol on January 6. Of the ten Republicans who voted to impeach Trump following the attack on the Capitol, eight will not be returning to Congress in January, including her.
She said it was telling that practically everyone who spoke out against Trump’s attempt to undermine American democracy was expelled from the party, and that this showed that “people continue to believe the lie, they continue to believe what [Trump] is saying which is really dangerous.”
Her next statement was, “It also shows you that big segments of our party, including the leadership of our party both at the state level in Wyoming and at the national level with the RNC [Republican National Committee], is very sick.”
The Vice President’s wife, Cheney, would not say whether or not she planned to seek the presidency in 2020. She also wouldn’t confirm or deny whether she’d run as a Republican or an independent if that were the case.
If she ran for office, she would do so with the intention of winning, as she herself admitted.
The timing of Cheney’s direct threat to Trump and his inner circle of senior Republican Congressmen is particularly ominous. The FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida has both infuriated his fans and increased the likelihood that he could be prosecuted for withholding information that could compromise national security.
Earlier this month Trump used his constitutional privilege against self-incrimination in response to queries when he was deposed in a case launched by the attorney general of New York over his company’s financial accounts. A special grand jury in Atlanta, Georgia, has been looking into efforts to reverse the election results in that state, and last week Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was invited to testify before the panel.
On Sunday, an appeals judge temporarily exempted South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from testifying in front of the same grand jury in Fulton county for his role in Trump’s pressure campaign on Georgia officials to reject the state’s election results.