Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) threw his support behind Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Tuesday after the House conference chair weathered a barrage of attacks from Trump loyalists in the House who are calling on her to step down as conference chair after she voted to impeach the nation’s 45th president last month.
Graham said that the No. 3 House Republican is “one of the strongest and most reliable conservative voices in the Republican Party,” after remaining quiet about Cheney while she was dumped on in recent weeks by allies of Trump.
“In the eyes of many – Liz Cheney’s experience, leadership, and strength are invaluable to the Republican Party,” Graham wrote on Twitter.
The criticism from a majority of House Republicans has come after she urged colleagues to make a “vote of conscience” and impeach former President Donald Trump during the House’s proceedings on Jan. 13.
Liz knows that a strong America is a safe America. She believes we must confront radical Islam and take the fight to them to ensure there are no more 9/11’s.
In the eyes of many – Liz Cheney’s experience, leadership, and strength are invaluable to the Republican Party.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 2, 2021
Graham’s renewed support of his colleague in the lower chamber comes after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a statement late Monday reinforcing his support for Cheney after she became one of 10 House Republicans who voted in favor of Trump’s impeachment.
“Liz Cheney is a leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them,” McConnell said. “She is an important leader in our party and in our nation. I am grateful for her service and look forward to continuing to work with her on the crucial issues facing our nation.”
A majority of House Republicans, however, have signaled a desire to oust Cheney from House leadership on a secret ballot.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a Trump loyalist, went as far as to declare during a Fox News interview on Thursday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who has offered waning support for Cheney amid criticism, should “hold a vote on Liz Cheney,” to remove her as conference chair.
Graham’s support for Cheney could signal the beginnings of a slow shift away from the looming shadow of Trump, who has been furious over Cheney’s impeachment vote and has reportedly been working behind the scenes to see her removed from her post and booted from office.