Liz Cheney was ousted from the Republican leadership of Congress over her opposition to Donald Trump, the latest dramatic development in an intra-partisan war against the former president.
GOP lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to remove Cheney from the party leadership in a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning.
In a speech to the floor of the House of Representatives Tuesday night, Cheney ripped apart his fellow Republicans for their support of Trump, who continues to repeat false claims that last year’s election was stolen from him.
“Our duty is clear. Each of us who are sworn in must act to prevent the collapse of our democracy, ”Cheney told fellow lawmakers. “Keep silent, and ignore the lie, emboldens the liar.”
“I will not participate in this,” she added. “I am not going to sit and watch in silence as others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”
The Wyoming lawmaker’s relations with her fellow Republicans have deteriorated since the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which interrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory and left five dead. Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans who voted for impeach Trump for his role in the riot.
She survived a vote of confidence from her peers in February, but now has little support from her colleagues. The House’s longest-serving Republican Kevin McCarthy has openly campaigned for his impeachment and has said he will support his replacement with Elise Stefanik, the New York Democrat loyal to Trump. McCarthy wrote to colleagues earlier this week saying, “Clearly we need to make a change.”
Cheney, who is a staunch conservative, said on Tuesday that Trump continued to pose an unprecedented threat to American democracy and risk inciting further violence by undermining trust in American institutions.
His expulsion from the leadership of the Republican Party underscores Trump’s enduring influence on the GOP heading into next year’s midterm elections, when Republicans rush to regain control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Despite being banned from most social media platforms, Trump continues to post regular statements through Save America, his fundraising vehicle.
On Wednesday morning, the former president said House Republicans had a “great opportunity” to “get rid of a poor leader, an important Democratic talking point, a warmonger and someone without. no personality or heart, ”calling Cheney“ bad for our country and bad for herself ”.