Liz Cheney Rips GOP Colleagues For Betraying Democracy

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At an event this week evidently associated with the pro-democracy advocacy organization known as Freedom House, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) shamed some of her Republican colleagues in Congress for failing to meaningfully address the threats to democracy exemplified by Trump’s fight against the election outcome and the eventual Capitol riot. Instead of breaking from the former president in any meaningful sense, most Republicans in Congress and in other positions of prominence have stuck by him as his destructive chaos expands.

“One of the most stunning and sad things in my view that has happened since January 6 has been the realization that the vast majority of… my party, when the chips were down and the time of testing came, they didn’t do the right thing,” Cheney said, adding: “They put politics above their oath of office.” At the same event, Cheney criticized Trump, remarking: “If you listen to what the Chinese Communist Party says about American democracy, it’s the same thing Donald Trump says about democracy.” What Trump has been doing — no matter his justifications for it — is rampaging against the fundamental democratic process in the United States. What unfolded through the course of the 2020 presidential election was documented to be legitimate, reflecting the people’s will — and Trump utterly flipped out.

Trump hasn’t formally stated he’ll run for president again, although he seems to be preparing for such a move. Asked late last year about whether he’ll run again, Trump seemed to indicate that he wasn’t making such an announcement in order to try and evade federal campaign finance requirements. “Actually for me it’s an easy question,” Trump said. “I mean, I know what I’m going to do, but we’re not supposed to be talking about it yet from the standpoint of campaign finance laws.” Cheney, meanwhile, is continuing her service as vice chair on the House committee investigating the Capitol riot. The riot panel is preparing to host additional public hearings throughout June, although exact witness and topic lists are not apparently publicly available. The riot committee recently scored a significant court victory with the dismissal by federal Judge Timothy Kelly of an attempt by the Republican National Committee to block a subpoena to Salesforce, whose tech capacity the GOP used for emails to supporters.

Kelly, notably, was appointed to the federal judiciary by Trump. He put off the point when his ruling would go into effect to allow an opportunity for an appeal. Republicans had claimed that the riot panel’s efforts threatened to reveal sensitive party data and contradicted Republicans’ rights to free speech, but Kelly concluded that “[nothing] suggests that the Select Committee is demanding, or that Salesforce is preparing to produce, internal RNC memoranda laying out its digital strategy… Obviously, information that shows which email campaigns attracted more attention, and which attracted less, has some strategic value. But on the record here, whatever competitive harm may come to the RNC from disclosure of the actual material at issue is too ‘logically attenuated’ and ‘speculative’ to defeat the Select Committee’s weighty interest.”

Kelly also refuted the right-wing argument that the riot investigation committee is fundamentally illegitimate because of the absence of members picked by the GOP leader. As the judge observed, the “House views the Select Committee to be duly constituted and empowered to act… even though the Select Committee has only nine members… This understanding is reflected by the House’s adoption of the Select Committee’s recommendations to find witnesses in contempt of Congress for their refusals to comply with Select Committee subpoenas.”