Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) made clear on Wednesday that she has no plans to back down on her vehement criticism of former President Trump amid House Republicans threatening to give her the boot as its conference chair.
In an op-ed published in the Washington Post on Wednesday, Cheney took aim at Trump’s repeated efforts to delegitimize the election process by pushing falsehoods of widespread election fraud well after he left office.
“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,” Cheney wrote. “No other American president has ever done this.”
Cheney wrote that the Republican Party is at a “turning point” where its members must decide whether the party will “choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution,” citing the deadly Capitol insurrection that Trump incited by telling his supporters at a “Stop the Steal” rally hours before the attack to “fight like hell” to overturn the election results.
The third-ranking Republican also called out House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for walking back his remarks on the House floor a week after the Capitol attack, when he blamed Trump for inciting the mob behind the insurrection. In recent days, McCarthy has repeatedly passed up opportunities to defend Cheney amid Republicans’ outrage in the aftermath of her vote to impeach Trump.
Cheney then warned the GOP against failing to hold the former president accountable for his bogus claims of widespread election fraud — and defining itself by it.
“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. “Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people.”
Cheney concluded her op-ed by calling on fellow Republicans to “stand for genuinely conservative principles” instead of feeding into “the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality.”
“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,” Cheney wrote. “I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.”
Cheney’s op-ed adds to her refusal to shy away from calling out the former president.
On Monday, Cheney took her feud with Trump up a notch by taking aim at the election fraud falsehoods that he continues to push in a tweet. The third-ranking Republican’s tweet appeared to respond to the former president’s statement from his Save America PAC that espoused falsehoods of a stolen presidential election.
The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) May 3, 2021
Cheney’s op-ed also comes amid most Republicans refusing to go to bat for her as some House GOP members warn that she could face another vote that would boot her from her leadership role in the caucus as a consequence for voting to convict Trump for “incitement of insurrection” earlier this year.
In addition to McCarthy repeatedly sidestepping chances he had to defend Cheney in the past week, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) openly boosted Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) in a bid to replace Cheney as conference chair. McCarthy has also reportedly been rallying for Stefanik to many Republicans, according to Punchbowl News.