Liz Cheney has claimed some Republicans voted against impeaching Donald Trump because they were ‘afraid for their lives’ as she admitted she regrets voting for him in the 2020 election and warned he poses an ‘ongoing danger’ to America.
Cheney told CNN‘s Jake Tapper Friday that several GOP members of Congress told her they feared for their safety in the lead-up to February’s vote to impeach Trump for inciting the January 6 Capitol riot.
The Wyoming Representative said she believes some fell in line with the wider party because of these concerns and insisted more lawmakers were in favor of his impeachment ‘than are willing to say so’.
Cheney was ousted from her role as House Republican leader this week amid a backlash from staunch Trump allies.
The ex-number three in the party was one of just 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the violent insurrection. Since then, she has been a vocal critic of the former president and his efforts to overturn the result of the presidential election.
Liz Cheney told CNN Friday (above) some Republicans voted against impeaching Donald Trump because they were ‘afraid for their lives’ as she admitted she regrets voting for him in the 2020 election and warned he poses an ‘ongoing danger’ to America
‘I think you have more members who believe in substance and policy and ideals than are willing to say so,’ Cheney told CNN.
‘If you look at the vote to impeach, for example, there were members who told me that they were afraid for their own security – afraid, in some instances, for their lives.
‘And that tells you something about where we are as a country, that members of Congress aren’t able to cast votes, or feel that they can’t, because of their own security.’
Trump was acquitted in the Senate in a vote of 57-43 with just 10 Republicans crossing party lines and voting to convict.
Trump had pushed false election fraud claims since he lost the election to Joe Biden and, on the morning of the riot, held a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally where he told his supporters to ‘fight.’
Cheney called Trump an ‘ongoing danger’ to the nation as she said we have to ‘get to the bottom of what happened in 2020.’
‘I think that people have been lied to,’ she said.
‘I think that it’s really important for all of us to get to the bottom of what happened in 2020, what happened on January 6 and to go forward looking toward truth.’
She said she felt she had an ‘obligation’ to speak out against Trump’s false election fraud claims and warned that ‘we’ve had a collapse of truth in this country.’
‘We’ve seen an evolution of, you know, a general situation where conspiracy theories are rampant, where good people in a lot of instances have been misled and believe things that are not true,’ said Cheney.
Cheney speaks to the media after she was removed of her leadership role as Conference Chair Wednesday
‘And so, I think that we all have an obligation to make sure we’re doing everything we can to convey the truth, to stand for the truth and to stand for the Constitution and our obligations.’
She added: ‘There’s an ongoing danger and we’ve got to continue to stand up against it.’
Cheney went on to say that ‘we have to save the Republican party’ and hit out at people coming to Washington to be ‘social media stars.’
Congress didn’t used to ‘have the vitriol flying back and forth that we certainly have over the last several years,’ she said.
‘People ought to want to be there and work hard and not be social media stars. That’s not the right reason to be there,’ she said.
Cheney did not cite any names however her opponent Trump was known to tweet copious amounts every day – until he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and other platforms for spreading misinformation.
Cheney was ousted from her position as the number three leader of the Republican party Wednesday during a closed-door meeting.
The Wyoming Representative said she believes some GOP members didn’t impeach Trump as ‘they were afraid for their lives’. Cheney was one of just 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump (impeachment trial pictured above)
People shelter in the House gallery as rioters break into the House Chamber at the Capitol on January 6
Rioters storm the Capitol January 6. Trump was acquitted in the Senate in a vote of 57-43 with just 10 Republicans crossing party lines and voting to convict
Republicans had earlier tried to remove her back in February.
Cheney has been one of the few members of the GOP to speak out against Trump and his pursuit to overthrow the election.
Trump continues to claim the election was ‘stolen’ from him despite dozens of lawsuits, state investigations and even his own Justice Department concluding that there was no evidence of widespread fraud.
Cheney has repeatedly referred to Trump’s claims as his ‘big lie’ and blamed him for the Capitol riot, where a MAGA mob stormed the building in an effort to stop the election being certified for Joe Biden.
The congresswoman told ABC News Friday she regretted voting for Trump in the 2020 election but, as a Republican, ‘was never going to’ vote for the Democratic party.
‘I was never going to support Joe Biden and I do regret the vote,’ she said.
‘It was a vote based on policy, based on substance and in terms of the kinds of policies he put forward that were good for the country.
‘But I think it’s fair to say that I regret the vote.’
She compared Trump and his false election fraud claims to the actions of the Chinese Communist Party.
‘Frankly, it’s the same kinds of things that the Chinese Communist Party says about democracy: that it’s a failed system, and America is a failed nation,’ Cheney said.
The Republican congresswoman told ABC News Friday she regretted voting for Trump in the 2020 election but ‘was never going to vote for Joe Biden’
‘I won’t be part of that. And I think it’s very important for Republicans who won’t be part of that to stand up and speak out.’
While she has faced a backlash for speaking out against Trump, Cheney called on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – who has not condemned the former president – to testify about the events of January 6 in any commission that arises.
‘I think that he very clearly and said publicly that he’s got information about the president’s state of mind that day,’ Cheney said.
Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler previously revealed he was present when McCarthy spoke to Trump on the phone during the riot.
He said McCarthy begged the president to call off his supporters.
Trump is said to have responded to the House Minority Leader – who was hiding from the violent mob at the time – ”Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election then you are.”
Cheney said she ‘wouldn’t be surprised if [McCarthy] were subpoenaed’ but that she hoped it wouldn’t be necessary to get him to testify.
Staunch Trump ally New York Rep. Elise Stefanik was elected Cheney’s replacement this week. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Stefanik Friday
New York Rep. Elise Stefanik was elected Friday as Cheney’s replacement winning 134 to 46 of the vote.
Stefanik is a staunch Trump ally and opposed the certification of the electoral college votes in favor of Joe Biden back in January.
She has supported Trump’s false claims of election fraud as well as conspiracy theories about votes in Arizona. Trump had also backed Stefanik to take on the role.
Cheney hit out at her successor calling it a ‘dangerous’ move to elect someone who has supported Trump’s false claims.
‘I think it’s dangerous. I think that we have to recognize how quickly things can unravel,’ she said.
‘We have to recognize what it means for the nation to have a former president who has not conceded and who continues to suggest that our electoral system cannot function, cannot do the will of the people.’