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Cheney: Work on Jan. 6 panel ‘probably the most important thing I’ve done professionally’

Associated Press/Jae C. Hong

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Tuesday said her work on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol is “probably the most important thing I’ve done professionally.”

“I’m very proud of the work that we’ve done and of my fellow members of that committee. I think it’s probably the most important thing I’ve ever done professionally, and absolutely crucial for the functioning of our democracy going forward,” Cheney said during a speaking event at Harvard University.

Before taking her House seat representing Wyoming’s at-large district in 2017, Cheney was deputy assistant secretary of State and principal deputy assistant secretary of State for the Middle East. She also spent time practicing law.

Her comment on Tuesday came in response to a question on how the congressional probe into the Capitol attack took the form of a select committee rather than a 9/11-style commission. Lawmakers initially planned to have an outside bipartisan commission, modeled after the 9/11 investigation, but Republicans ultimately blocked the venture.

Congress then turned to a congressional select committee. The panel’s investigation has spanned more than a year and culminated this summer and fall with a series of nine public hearings laying out the committee’s findings.

The group has sought to show that former President Trump was at the center of a conspiracy to keep himself in power.

At the ninth hearing last week, lawmakers on the panel unanimously voted to subpoena Trump for testimony under oath and documents in connection to the Jan. 6 attack. On Tuesday, Cheney said the panel will be issuing Trump the formal request “shortly.”

One day after the committee announced its subpoena, Trump released a 14-page response that skirted the question of whether he would comply with the request. Instead, the former president touted disproven claims that the 2020 presidential race was stolen.

Cheney also aired concerns Tuesday about Republicans on the ballot in November who have refused to say whether they will accept the results of their races, a group that includes Republican gubernatorial nominees Kari Lake in Arizona and Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania..

Cheney says that situation represents “the end of democracy.”

“And we have many candidates today, Republicans, and it pains me to say that because I have been a lifelong Republican, but candidates who say they will only certify elections that they agree with. That’s the end of democracy,” she told the audience at Harvard.

“And I’ve worked in countries around the world that are not democratic, I’ve worked in countries where the people in those countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and the Middle East where people have been fighting for their freedom. And if you don’t honor the outcome of elections, then you don’t have a democratic system,” she added.

The Wyoming Republican urged voters to consider those circumstances when casting ballots for elected office.

“When you’re thinking about who you’re going to vote for, you shouldn’t vote for people who tell you that they will ignore the rulings of the courts, and they will ignore the facts, and they’ll ignore the law, and they’ll ignore the results of elections unless they agree with them,” Cheney said.

In addition to Republicans running for office, Cheney also criticized some of her GOP colleagues. She knocked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), whom she frequently spars with, for his recent comments on aid to Ukraine as it fends off an invasion from Russia.

The GOP leader told Punchbowl News in an interview published Tuesday morning that a Republican House majority would not “write a blank check to Ukraine.”

“I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine. They just won’t do it. … It’s not a free blank check,” McCarthy said. “And then there’s the things [the Biden administration] is not doing domestically. Not doing the border and people begin to weigh that. Ukraine is important, but at the same time it can’t be the only thing they do and it can’t be a blank check.”

Cheney said it was “really disgraceful” that McCarthy “suggested that if the Republicans get the majority back, that we will not continue to provide support for the Ukrainians.”

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