Escalating her war of words with former President Donald Trump to DEFCON 1, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said Sunday that his challenge to the 2020 election results poses the greatest threat to American democracy ever.
The top Republican on the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots said, “Only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. Today, that role is ours as we face a threat we have never faced before — a former president attempting to unravel our constitutional republic.”
Cheney gave her biggest warning about Trump while accepting the 2022 Profile In Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. In her address, she quoted former presidents from Kennedy to Ronald Reagan heralding the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power after elections.
“This sacred obligation to defend the peaceful transfer of power has been honored by every American president except one,” Cheney said.
She said that the bid by Trump and his supporters to challenge the election was an unprecedented threat that needs to be snuffed out without prejudice.
“At this moment, we must all summon the courage to stand against that. The question for every one of us is: In this time of testing, will we do our duty? Will we defend our Constitution? Will we stand for truth? Will we put duty to our oath above partisan politics? Or will we look away from danger, ignore the threat, embrace the lies, and enable the liar?” the embattled Wyoming lawmaker said.
Cheney has led the effort to probe Trump’s responsibility for the riots and has blamed him for inspiring them. At times, she has sounded harsher than even the former president’s toughest critics.
As a result, Trump has moved to endorse Cheney’s primary challenger, though it hasn’t deterred Cheney.
When asked why she is calling out Trump, Cheney has repeatedly said that somebody in the Republican leadership has to challenge him, and she did so again in her Sunday speech.
“The defense of our republic, the defense of the constitutional foundations of our nation, have to matter. In a republic, there are no bystanders, there are no spectators. As citizens, every one of us has a duty to set aside partisan battles and stand together to perpetuate and preserve our great republic,” she said. “We are engaged in a battle we must win, and with courage and clarity and grit, it is a battle we will win.”