WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The day before the Republican Party ousted her from her no. 3 spot, Rep. Liz Cheney addressed the U.S. House of Representatives with a warning.
House Republicans voted Wednesday morning to remove Cheney of Wyoming, previously the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, from her leadership role.
At issue: Cheney’s dismissal of former President Donald Trump’s repeated lies that the 2020 election was invalid. She was among only 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him, agreeing with the Democratic majority that Trump’s words fueled the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
On Tuesday evening, she stood firm with that message, delivering an unwavering speech on the House floor that warned to colleagues to push back against Trump’s rhetoric for the sake of democracy.
“I rise to discuss freedom and our constitutional duty to protect it,” she said. “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. I will not participate in that.”
She said it’s clear President Joe Biden won the election.
“The Trump Department of Justice investigated the former president’s claims of widespread fraud and found no evidence to support them,” Cheney said.
Ahead of the vote to remove her, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Republicans need a united front.
But Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who also voted to impeach, said Cheney is doing the right thing.
“God bless her for having the consistency to tell the truth,” he said.
Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, the top Republican woman in the Senate, also weighed in Tuesday. While she was not explicit, she seemed to defend Cheney.
“House business is the House business,” Ernst said. “All I’m stating is that if someone has something to say if someone has something to say, they should feel OK to say it.”
Democrats are blasting Republicans over Cheney’s removal.
“Liz Cheney spoke truth to power and now they’re firing her,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said.