Cheney on calls for her to resign from GOP leadership: ‘I’m not going anywhere’
Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the No. 3 House Republican, on Tuesday rejected calls from her GOP colleagues for her to step down from her leadership position over her forthcoming vote to impeach President Trump.
“I’m not going anywhere. This is a vote of conscience. It’s one where there are different views in our conference,” Cheney told the Capitol Hill press pool. “But our nation is facing an unprecedented — since the Civil War — constitutional crisis. That’s what we need to be focused on. That’s where our efforts and attention need to be.”
Cheney is facing rebukes from House conservatives over her planned vote to impeach the president over his role in inciting last week’s deadly riot at the Capitol.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a founder of the House Freedom Caucus who boasts a high profile with conservatives, on Wednesday called for Cheney to be removed from her role as House Republican Conference chair over her support for Trump’s impeachment.
“We ought to have a second vote,” Jordan told reporters. “The conference ought to vote on that.”
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the current chair of the House Freedom Caucus, said on Fox News that he didn’t think Cheney “should be the chair of the Republican conference anymore” and that “she’s not representing the Republican ideals.”
A group of other conservatives has sent a petition to members calling for Cheney to be ousted from her perch in House leadership.
She first announced Tuesday that she would vote in favor of the single article of impeachment, which accuses the president of “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”
At least five other GOP House members will also vote to impeach, but Cheney is the most senior lawmaker thus far to come out in favor of removing Trump from office.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Wednesday that he believes Trump bears some responsibility for last week’s riot but will oppose impeachment.
“None of this would have happened without the president. The president could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement explaining her upcoming vote.
Cheney and Trump’s other detractors have pointed to remarks he made to a swarm of supporters before the riots, telling them “you have to show strength” and “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
The mob then descended on the Capitol, interrupting the certification of the Electoral College results showing victory for President-elect Joe Biden. Five people died as a result of the violence.