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Flake: No greater offense than honesty in today's Republican Party

Former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeOn The Trail: Arizona is microcosm of battle for the GOP Trump looms large over fractured Arizona GOP Why Republican politicians are sticking with Trump MORE (R-Ariz.) is calling out GOP lawmakers for their plan to oust Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn Cheney House Democrats to Schumer: Vote again on Jan. 6 probe Cheney compares Trump claims to Chinese Communist Party: 'It's very dangerous' Stefanik pregnant with her first child MORE (R-Wyo.) from the party’s leadership in the House, arguing that “today there is no greater offense than honesty” among Republicans.

“On Wednesday, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) will most likely lose her leadership post within the House Republican Conference, not because she has been untruthful. Rather, she will lose her position because she is refusing to play her assigned role in propagating the 'big lie' that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE,” Flake wrote in an op-ed published in The Washington Post. 

“Cheney is more dedicated to the long-term health of our constitutional system than she is to assuaging the former president’s shattered ego, and for her integrity she may well pay with her career,” he continued.

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Flake added: “No, this is not the plot of a movie set in an asylum” but rather “your contemporary Republican Party, where today there is no greater offense than honesty.”

House Republicans are expected to meet behind closed doors on Wednesday morning and vote to remove Cheney from her role as the GOP conference chair, the third-ranking position in their leadership.

“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," Cheney told her colleagues in a floor speech late Tuesday.

Flake, who represented Arizona in the upper chamber from 2013 to 2019, criticized some Republicans in the op-ed for “a celebration of the unwise and the untrue,” citing conspiracy theories that former President Obama was not born in the U.S. and more. 

“I had hoped that, over time, my Republican constituents would feel differently about the former president, or at least value a Republican who pushed back, and that I could stand for reelection in 2018 with a reasonable chance of surviving a Republican primary,” Flake wrote. 

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“It soon became apparent that Republican voters wanted someone who was all in with a president that I increasingly saw as a danger to the republic. That could not be me, so I spoke out instead and didn’t stand for reelection,” he added noting that “history keeps the score, not Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyPelosi, leaders seek to squelch Omar controversy with rare joint statement Omar: I wasn't equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries Schumer bemoans number of Republicans who believe Trump will be reinstated: 'A glaring warning' MORE or Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikRecovering America through the lens of wildlife Former Trump aide eyeing New Hampshire congressional bid GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message MORE.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Sunday signaled his support publicly for the first time for Rep. Elise Stefanik’s (R-N.Y.) bid to replace Chaney.

 “It is elementary to have to say this, but we did not become a great nation by believing or espousing nonsense, or by embracing lunacy,” Flake wrote. “And if my party continues down this path, we will not be fit to govern.”