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Cheney sums up case against Trump in last big hearing moment before primary

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) gives an opening statement during a House Jan. 6 committee hearing on Thursday, July 21, 2022 to focus on former President Trump’s actions during the insurrection.
Greg Nash
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) gives an opening statement during a House Jan. 6 committee hearing on Thursday, July 21, 2022 to focus on former President Trump’s actions during the insurrection.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) used her last major Jan. 6 Select Committee hearing moment before a tough primary election to sum up the case against former President Donald Trump.

“In our hearing tonight, you saw an American president faced with a stark, unmistakable choice between right and wrong. There was no ambiguity, no nuance. Donald Trump made a purposeful choice to violate his oath of office to ignore the ongoing violence against law enforcement to threaten our constitutional order,” Cheney, vice chair of the Jan. 6 Committee, said in her closing statement during a primetime hearing Thursday. “There is no way to excuse that behavior. It was indefensible.”

The hearing centered on Trump’s actions – and inaction – on Jan. 6 during the Capitol riot, featuring testimony from White House aides who wanted the president to call off the rioters earlier, and in a more forceful manner.

“Every American must consider this: Can a President who is willing to make the choices Donald Trump made during the violence of January 6th ever be trusted with any position of authority in our great nation again?” Cheney said.

The committee will return for more hearings in September, Cheney announced in Thursday’s hearing, weeks after her uphill Aug. 16 primary.

The primary election is a referendum of sorts on Trump’s role in the Capitol attack and the Republican party moving forward.

Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump after the riot led to swift calls for primary challengers against her, and her continuing to place blame on Trump for the attack for months after led to the House GOP Conference removing her from her No. 3 position as Conference Chair in May 2021. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) took her place.

Cheney’s main primary competition is Trump-endorsed challenger Harriet Hageman, an attorney and former GOP National Committeewoman.

While Cheney has far outraised Hageman, reporting a total of $13 million in contributions to her campaign through June 30 compared to $3.8 million for Hageman, a recent Casper Star-Tribune poll found her lagging far behind Trump’s pick.

The July 7-11 poll found Hageman leading Cheney by 22 points, 52 percent to 30 percent.

Tags Casper Star-Tribune Donald Trump Elise Stefanik Harriet Hageman Harriet Hageman Jan 6 house commitee Jan. 6 hearings Liz Cheney White House Wyoming
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