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Cheney: GOP must choose between loyalty to Trump or the Constitution

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) told her party on Wednesday evening that it must choose between the rule of the law and its leader, recognizing that it would be “painful” for the party to accept former President Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“We have to choose because Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution,” Cheney said during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute as part of its “Time for Choosing” speaker series.

Cheney has drawn the ire of many of her Republican colleagues for voting to impeach Trump and serving as the vice chair of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol. Polls show her trailing a Trump-backed challenger in her bid to keep her House seat in November.

The Wyoming Republican condemned the former president and his allies, calling him “dangerous” and “irrational” and saying Trump tried to remain in office as other Republicans served as “willing hostages.”

“As the full picture is coming into view with the January 6 committee, it has become clear that the efforts Donald Trump oversaw and engaged in were even more chilling and threatening than we could have imagined,” Cheney said.

But Cheney said she had hope for the country, arguing that young women in particular have realized the “peril” of Jan. 6. 

“These days, for the most part, men are running the world, and it is really not going that well,” she said.

She also celebrated Tuesday’s testimony before the House panel from Cassidy Hutchinson, who served as a top aide to Trump’s then chief of staff, Mark Meadows, as the events were playing out on Jan. 6.

Hutchinson testified that Trump and Meadows knew the crowd at a rally the morning of the riot was armed, and that Meadows was warned of the possibility of violence in the days leading up to the insurrection. 

“Her superiors, men many years older, a number of them are hiding behind executive privilege, anonymity and intimidation,” Cheney said of the 26-year-old Hutchinson. “But her bravery and her patriotism yesterday were awesome to behold.”

Cheney described Trump’s actions following the 2020 election as “painful” for Republicans to accept but implored her colleagues to prioritize their constitutional responsibility.

“Ultimately, that is what our duty as Americans requires of us,” Cheney said. “That we love our country more, that we love her so much, that we will stand above politics to defend her.”

Tags Cassidy Hutchinson Jan. 6 hearings Liz Cheney Reagan Library
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