Washington (CNN)In a new op-ed for The Washington Post, Rep. Liz Cheney says the Republican Party is at a “turning point” and must decide whether to accept or reject Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, which she says provoked the violence on January 6 and could provoke violence again.
“Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law. No other American president has ever done this,” Cheney writes. “The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution.”
In the op-ed, the embattled No. 3 House Republican calls for Republicans to support both the ongoing Justice Department investigation into the January 6 Capitol riot as well as a separate, bipartisan congressional commission into the event. Cheney calls out her Republican colleague, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, for “[changing] his story” on Trump’s responsibility for the riots. She also repeats her view that Republicans should “steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality” if it hopes to win national elections in the future.
“History is watching. Our children are watching,” Cheney writes. “We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process. I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.”
The op-ed comes as Cheney’s future in the House leadership is in jeopardy, with a vote to remove her as conference chair coming as early as next week.
Cheney survived a similar vote in February, when House Republicans voted 145-61 in favor of keeping her on the leadership team. However she appears to be in a much weaker position now. A number of House Republicans as well as Trump himself have endorsed New York Rep. Elise Stefanik to replace Cheney in the leadership post.
“Elise Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair,” Trump wrote in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. “Elise is a tough and smart communicator!”
Cheney’s continued opposition to Trump and his lies about the 2020 election have touched off the push to oust her. Her team has argued the episode speaks
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