GOP Rep. Liz Cheney delivered a searing rebuke of former President Donald Trump and GOP leaders at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Wednesday night, recounting some of the damning details that the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, has uncovered thus far and praising the bravery of witnesses – particularly the young female aides – who have come forward to aid its investigation.
“We are confronting a domestic threat that we have never faced before – and that is a former President who is attempting to unravel the foundations of our constitutional Republic,” said Cheney, the vice chair of the House committee. “And he is aided by Republican leaders and elected officials who have made themselves willing hostages to this dangerous and irrational man.”
The congresswoman’s blistering critique of Trump comes as the former President is reportedly weighing the launch of another presidential bid, potentially before the midterms.
Cheney, a Wyoming Republican facing a Trump-backed primary challenger later this summer, acknowledged that it would certainly be an “easier path” to just look away. But she also said everyone has a responsibility to confront the threat to democracy that is posed by Trump.
“No party and no people and no nation can defend and perpetuate a constitutional republic if they accept a leader who’s gone to war with the rule of law, with the democratic process, or with a peaceful transition of power, with the Constitution itself,” she said.
Cheney continued, saying that “the full picture is coming into view” of Trump’s actions thanks to the January 6 committee’s nearly year-long investigation. “It has become clear that the efforts Donald Trump oversaw and engaged in were even more chilling and more threatening than we could have imagined,” she said.
Speaking directly to her own party, Cheney said it might be “painful for Republicans to accept,” but said that members of the GOP have to make a choice.
“Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution,” she said, to a round of applause.
Shifting into a more hopeful tone, Cheney said she has been encouraged by some of what she has encountered over the past year, including those who have been willing to publicly testify in front of the select committee.
“Especially the young women – young women who seem instinctively to understand the peril of this moment for our democracy. And young women who know that it will be up to them to save it,” Cheney said. “And I have been incredibly moved by the young women that I have met and that have come forward to testify in the January 6 committee.”
Cheney specifically praised former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who one day earlier delivered shocking testimony before the select committee.
“Her superiors – men many years older – a number of them are hiding behind executive privilege, anonymity and intimidation. But her bravery and her patriotism yesterday were awesome to behold,” Cheney said. “Little girls all across this great nation are seeing what it really means to love this country and what it really means to be a patriot.”
“I want to speak to every young girl watching tonight,” the congresswoman concluded. “The power is yours, and so is the responsibility. … These days, for the most part, men are running the world – and it is really not going that well.”