“We cannot both embrace the big lie and embrace the Constitution,” Ms. Cheney said after a closed-door meeting where Republicans booed her before voting her out.,
House Republicans oust a defiant Liz Cheney for her repudiation of Trump’s election lies.
Cheney Speaks After Vote to Remove Her From Republican Leadership
Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming was ousted from the House Republican leadership ranks on Wednesday over her refusal to stay quiet about Donald J. Trump’s election lies. Ms. Cheney said she would do everything she could to make sure the former president did not take office again.
“I am absolutely committed, as I said last night, and as I said, just now to my colleagues, that we must go forward based on truth. We cannot both embrace the big lie and embrace the Constitution. And going forward, the nation needs it. The nation needs a strong Republican Party. The nation needs a party that is based upon fundamental principles of conservatism. I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president, never again, gets anywhere near the Oval Office. We have seen the danger that he continues to provoke with his language. We have seen his lack of commitment and dedication to the Constitution.” Reporter: “Do you feel betrayed by today’s vote?” “I do not. I think that it is an indication of where the Republican Party is. And I think that the party is in a place that we’ve got to bring it back from. And we’ve got to get back to a position where we are a party that can fight for conservative principles, that can fight for substance. We cannot be dragged backward by the very dangerous lies of a former president — thank you.”
Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming was ousted from the House Republican leadership ranks on Wednesday over her refusal to stay quiet about Donald J. Trump’s election lies. Ms. Cheney said she would do everything she could to make sure the former president did not take office again.CreditCredit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times
House Republicans purged Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming from their leadership ranks on Wednesday, voting to oust their No. 3 for her refusal to stay quiet about Donald J. Trump’s election lies, in a remarkable takedown of one of their own that reflected the party’s intolerance for dissent and unswerving fealty to the former president.
The action came by voice vote during a brief but raucous closed-door meeting in an auditorium on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning, after Ms. Cheney made a defiant final speech that drew boos from her colleagues.
In her parting remarks, Ms. Cheney urged Republicans not to “let the former president drag us backward,” according to a person familiar with the private comments who described them on the condition of anonymity. Ms. Cheney warned that Republicans were going down a path that would bring their “destruction” and “possibly the destruction of our country,” the person said, and she added that if the party wanted a leader who would “enable and spread his destructive lies,” they should vote to remove her.
Republicans did just that after greeting her speech with jeers, according to two people present, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe an internal discussion. They opted not to hold a recorded vote after Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, said that they should vote by voice to show unity.
Emerging from the meeting, Ms. Cheney remained unremorseful and said she was committed to doing “everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets near the Oval Office.”
“We must go forward based on truth,” Ms. Cheney told reporters. “We cannot both embrace the big lie and embrace the Constitution.”
The action came the day after Ms. Cheney had delivered a broadside on the House floor against Mr. Trump and the party leaders working to oust her, accusing them of being complicit in undermining the democratic system by repeating his false claims that the 2020 election results were fraudulent.
‘I Will Not Sit Back,’ Liz Cheney Says Before House Republican Vote
Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming said she would not sit quietly as the Republican Party abandoned the rule of law.
I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative principles is reverence for the rule of law. The Electoral College has voted, the election is over, that is the rule of law, that is our constitutional process. Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution. Our duty is clear, every one of us who has sworn the oath must act to prevent the unraveling of our democracy. 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. I will not participate in that. I 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 former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.
Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming said she would not sit quietly as the Republican Party abandoned the rule of law.CreditCredit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times
In a scathing speech, Ms. Cheney said that the country was facing a “never seen before” threat from a former president who had provoked the Capitol attack on Jan. 6 and had “resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him.”
“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar,” she said. “I will not participate in that. I 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 former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”
Mr. Trump weighed in Wednesday morning with multiple statements attacking Ms. Cheney and cheering her removal, including one calling her “a poor leader, a major Democrat talking point, a warmonger, and a person with absolutely no personality or heart.”
Top Republicans have labored to avoid talking about the Capitol riot and have painted Ms. Cheney’s removal as a forward-looking move that will allow them to move past that day.
“Each day spent relitigating the past is one day less we have to seize the future,” Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, wrote in a letter to party members on Monday.Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times
Instead, the episode has only called attention to the party’s devotion to Mr. Trump, its tolerance for authoritarianism, and internal divisions between more mainstream and conservative factions about how to win back the House in 2022. All of those dynamics threaten to alienate independent and suburban voters, thus undercutting what otherwise appears to be a sterling opportunity for Republicans to reclaim the majority.
As a replacement for Ms. Cheney, Republican leaders have united behind Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, a onetime moderate whose loyalty to Mr. Trump and backing of his false claims of election fraud have earned her broad support from the party’s rank and file that Ms. Cheney, a lifelong conservative, no longer commands.
If Ms. Stefanik is elected this week to replace Ms. Cheney, as expected, the top three House Republican leadership posts will be held by lawmakers who voted not to certify President Biden’s victory in January. In recent days, however, some hard-right Republicans have attacked Ms. Stefanik as insufficiently conservative and suggested the party should consider someone else.