Republican US Rep Liz Cheney condemned Donald Trump’s “stolen” election lies from the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the night before House Republicans vote whether to remove her from her leadership post following her criticisms of the former president and her vote to impeach him.
“Our duty is clear: Every one of us who has sworn the oath must act to prevent the unraveling of our democracy,” she said. “This is not about policy. This is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans. Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar.”
She warned that the former president has “resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him” following a narrative that compelled a mob of his supports to storm the US Capitol on 6 January.
“He risks inciting further violence,” she said. “Millions of Americans have been led by the former president. They have heard only his words but not the truth, as he continues to undermine our democratic process about whether democracy works at all.”
The two highest ranking House Republicans – Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise – want her removed from her position within party leadership, a move that could bind the current GOP as the party of the former president.
Both men endorse removing Ms Cheney from her role as chair of the House Republican Conference and replacing her with Elise Stefanik, who has secured the “complete and total endorsement” of the former president following her emphatic support for his spurious legal challenges and false claims of election “irregularities” that Mr Trump and his allies falsely believe tainted the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Ms Cheney said that the she “will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”
She said that attempts within her party to cast doubts on the legitimacy of election results embolden “empower our adversaries” and “feed communist propaganda that America is a failure.”
“We must speak the truth,” she said. “Our election was not stolen, and America has not failed.”
Asked on Sunday whether Ms Cheney’s “never Trump” position influenced GOP opposition to her leadership role in the party, Mr McCarthy told Fox News that “any member can take whatever position they believe in” but that Republicans need to present a “united” front, listing several Democratic agenda items that he opposes.
“What we’re talking about is a position in leadership,” he said. “As conference chair, you have one of the most critical jobs as a messenger going forward.”