Liz Cheney warns Republican Party ‘can’t survive’ Trump being the 2024 nominee after January 6
Representative Liz Cheney publicly urged the Justice Department on Sunday to intervene against Donald Trump, warning that not holding the former president accountable before Jan. 6 poses a “greater constitutional threat” to American democracy than releasing him.
Cheney — one of two Republicans on the Democrat-led Capitol riot committee — also shared a warning to her own party, which has largely banned her for her role on the panel.
“I don’t think he can be the party candidate” in the 2024 presidential race, the Wyoming legislature told ABC News about Trump. “I don’t think the party would survive that.”
In her first sit-down interview since the commission’s explosive hearings began on Jan. 6, Cheney confirmed that “yes” the panel was considering a criminal referral for the former president for his role in the riots.
She also suggested Attorney General Merrick Garland could use the evidence lawmakers have presented so far to look into indicting Trump.
“We’ll make a decision as a committee on it,” Cheney said, adding, “The Justice Department doesn’t have to wait for the committee to make a criminal referral.”
“And there could be more than one criminal reference.”
While the legislature didn’t elaborate on who else was being considered, the committee she is deputy chair has put a number of top political players in its crosshairs.
Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney suggested there could be multiple criminal references by the end of the Jan. 6 commission’s presentation of the evidence.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and several incumbent Republicans, such as Representatives Scott Perry, Andy Biggs and Marjorie Taylor Greene, have all been cited as being involved in Trump’s alleged plan to overthrow the 2020 election to be toppled.
The commission has sought to frame the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as a “last stand” calculated by Trump and his allies in their plot to undermine American democracy rather than an occasional violent outburst.
Asked if she believed her colleagues made an effective case for prosecution, Cheney said this was “ultimately” a decision for the Justice Department.
“I think we as a committee can have an opinion on that and if you think about it from the perspective of what kind of man knows that a mob is armed and sends the mob to attack the Capitol and incite that mob further.” when his own vice president is threatened, while Congress is threatened,” Cheney said.
“I think there’s no doubt about it, I mean, a man as dangerous as Donald Trump can absolutely never go near the Oval Office again,” Cheney told ABC News.
“It’s just — it’s very horrifying and I think we’ll definitely, you know, continue to present to the American people what we’ve found.”
Cheney focused on the next presidential race, denying that it would undermine democracy if a former president were prosecuted by the current chief’s Justice Department, in the event of a rematch against President Joe Biden.
“I’m more concerned about what it would mean if people weren’t held accountable for what happened here,” the Wyoming Republican said.
“I think it’s a much bigger constitutional threat if a president can participate in this kind of activity and, you know, the majority of the president’s party looks away from us as a country to decide, you know, we’re not really going to do our constitutional take obligations seriously. I think that’s a much more serious threat.”
However, she denied that the hearings are in any way “political,” an accusation often made by Trump and his allies, although Cheney admitted she did not believe he is fit for the office.
“I think there’s no doubt about it, I mean, a man as dangerous as Donald Trump can absolutely never go near the Oval Office again,” she said.
If Trump wins the GOP presidential primary a third time, Cheney warned, it could spell the end of the party.
‘I believe in the party, and I believe in what the party can be and what the party can stand for. And I’m not ready to give that up,” she said.
“Those of us who believe in Republican principles and ideals have a responsibility to try to bring the party back to what it can be and reject so much of the poison and vitriol.”
The representative left the door open to her own White House ambitions, which could see her face Trump in a historically tense Republican race for the 2024 election cycle.
“I’ll make a decision about ’24 down,'” Cheney said.
“But I think about it less in terms of a decision to run and more in terms of, you know, as an American and as someone who’s now in a position of public trust, how do I make sure I’m doing it right.” anything I can to do the right thing?’
The most damning testimony before the Jan. 6 committee yet comes from Meadows’ former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who told the panel last week that the former president attempted to physically take his vehicle from his Secret Service in an attempt to accompany him. supporters to the Capitol, and that he “lunged” at his top agent’s throat when he was stopped.
She made a very public appeal to the Justice Department to further ramp up the investigation into Trump and his allies after the investigation publicly picked up steam in recent weeks.
“What Cassidy Hutchinson did was an incredible example of courage, courage and patriotism in the face of real pressure,” Cheney said Thursday.
She pointed out that no one who has disputed Hutchinson’s story in the media has so far cooperated with the commission publicly.
“The commission will not stand by as her character is murdered by anonymous sources and by men claiming executive privilege,” Cheney said.
“And that’s why we’re very much looking forward to additional testimonials under oath on a whole range of topics.”
When asked if the panel had anything to corroborate the presidential motorcade’s testimony, the legislator replied, “The commission has significant evidence on a range of cases, including the president’s intense anger.”
Last week, Hutchinson testified that her former boss Meadows, along with Giuliani, had personally requested a pardon for their efforts related to January 6 and Trump’s 2020 election fraud allegations.
One of her other revelations about Trump was that he approved of his supporters chanting “Hang Mike Pence” as soon as they broke into the Capitol — adding stark new context to his tweet that day stating that his former vice president lacked “courage.” .
She also testified that the ex-president knew his supporters were armed when he encouraged them to march toward the Capitol.
Since then, Trump has distanced himself from Hutchinson and minimized her role in his administration, while hurling a litany of insults at the 25-year-old former aide.
‘The woman lives in fantasy land. She’s a social climber – if you call that social. I’m just sad that this is happening to our country,” Trump told Newsmax.