Representative Liz Cheney, who is staring down a vote set for Wednesday aimed at removing her from her GOP leadership post, continued her criticism of former president Donald Trump and Republicans who support him while delivering a speech on the House floor Tuesday night.
“Today we face a threat America has never seen before. A former president, who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol in an effort to steal the election, has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him,” she said. “He risks inciting further violence.”
She continued: “Millions of Americans have been misled by the former president. They have heard only his words, but not the truth, as he continues to undermine our democratic process, sowing seeds of doubt about whether democracy really works at all.”
Cheney’s remarks were fiery and emphatic as she railed against perceived threats to democracy — including her own colleagues who have supported the “Big Lie” — before Wednesday’s vote.
“Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution,” she said. “Our duty is clear. 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. Remaining silent, and ignoring the lie, emboldens the liar.”
Wednesday’s vote was orchestrated by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is among the Republicans who have grown exasperated with Cheney’s outspoken repudiation of Trump’s election lies, which she again rejected on Tuesday.
Cheney, who will likely be replaced by Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, said that she is a “conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative principles is reverence for the rule of law.”
She began her speech by noting while the topic of the evening was “cancel culture” — which she said she had “some thoughts” on — that she would be discussing instead just “how fragile freedom is.”
In her remarks, Cheney detailed experiences she has had in which she witnessed or heard of democracy being threatened.
Approximately 28 years ago, Cheney said, she observed firsthand one such incident, as she stood outside a polling place in Kenya. Voters had lined up outside a schoolhouse to cast their ballots, she said, and despite being chased away by soldiers, they returned hours later, risking further attack — “undaunted in their determination to exercise their right to vote.”
With defiance, Cheney said she “will not participate” in perpetuating the lie that the election was stolen — which numerous court rulings and investigations have proven it was not.
“I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy,” she said.
Cheney was among just 10 Republicans to support the House’s vote to impeach Trump following the Capitol attack, which he incited.
She ended her speech by saying that the “heart of what our oath requires” is to love the country and “do everything in our power to protect our constitution and our freedom — paid for by the blood of so many.”
“We must love her so much we will never yield in her defense,“ Cheney said. “That is our duty.”