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Rep. Cheney stands by vote to impeach President Trump

Congresswoman Liz Cheney.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney.(Will Thomas)
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 6:24 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - On Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Liz Cheney said she planned to vote to impeach President Donald Trump. On Wednesday, she stood by that decision as the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Trump for the second time. Cheney held a call with Wyoming media this afternoon, starting with some opening remarks.

“Today is a really sad day for the nation, we’ve lived through over the course of the last week, times that we never thought we would. When you look at what happened on Jan. 6 and the President’s role in that, and the President’s actions while the mob was attacking the Capitol in an effort to stop the counting of the electoral votes, it was very clear to me that there was no option other than voting to impeach. It was something that I did with a heavy heart but I did with a real understanding of the seriousness and the gravity of the moment, and understanding, and recognizing that my oath to the Constitution is one I can’t walk away from, it’s one that I can’t violate, so we voted to impeach the President. We are living through a very dangerous moment for our nation and it’s a moment that you will certainly see a widening and expanding set of criminal investigations. You already saw today the deployment of significant numbers of troops at the U.S. Capitol, some of you have probably seen the pictures of the troops sleeping on the floor of the Capitol visitor center. I saw that this morning and was reminded, it was a scene reminiscent of the Civil War when troops were housed in the Capitol. It’s a moment of real peril, it’s a moment when it’s important for all of us to recognize that our Republic is very fragile, and we all have an obligation to ensure we’re doing everything that we’re compelled to do by our oaths, to ensure the survival of that Republic.”

Cheney was then asked about what she would say to Wyomingites who disagree with her decision to vote to impeach President Trump.

“I’ve spent many hours on the phone as we’ve been in Washington, first leading up to the electoral college vote, leading up to this vote, talking to people all over the state. I think that the way I view this vote is it’s not a partisan vote. Some of the specifics of what we now know when you look at the timeline of what happened at the Capitol, the fact that the Vice President of the United States was operating in a way that is absolutely honorable and consistent with his oath to the Constitution, and around 2:22 he was evacuated from the Senate Chamber because his life was at risk, and about two minutes later at 2:24. the President of the United States sent out a tweet essentially calling the Vice President a coward. The mob was running through the Capitol, the mob was attacking the Capitol, people showed up with weapons, people showed up with zip ties in order to take hostages, five people died. This was an insurrection, it was an attack on the very heart of our Republic, and there are some things that must never be partisan, and the defense of our Constitution, the defense of this Republic, the defense of the peaceful transfer of power, ensuring that the Constitution and the constitutional duties that we all have are carried out, those must never be partisan, and I will continue to talk to and hear from my constituents all over Wyoming, friends and family, but when it came down to it the President of the United States inciting a mob to attack the Capitol to interrupt the Democratic process, and then while the violence played out refusing to take steps to stop it, is in my mind absolutely high crimes and misdemeanors, and it’s just simply no question, and so this was a vote that could not have anything to do with party or politics.”

Cheney was then asked about how her conversations have gone with Sen. John Barrasso and Sen. Cynthia Lummis about her decision to vote to impeach President Trump.

“I think that the House and the Senate have very different responsibilities in this Constitutional process. The House impeaches and the Senate determines whether or not to convict, and so that process will proceed forward. I think there are a number of Senators who have said that now that the President has been impeached, they will be sitting essentially as jurors and we’ll see what happens in the Senate. My view of this is that we in the House have one constitutional obligation and that was to determine whether or not the President’s actions constitute high crimes and misdemeanors, and so that’s what we’ve done, and now the article will go to the Senate and the Senate will proceed from there.”

Cheney was then asked about fellow Republicans who have been vocal about disagreeing with her decision, and her thoughts on their remarks.

“I really don’t consider the politics at all, there are times when those of us who are elected officials are called on to act in a way that does not take politics into consideration and dealing with something that serious and as grave as the attack on the Capitol is one of those times. I think it would be wrong to think about this decision and this vote in the context of politics.”

Cheney continued, saying:

“This is a very clear and direct challenge to the Republic and challenge to the functioning of our Democracy. If the President conducted in this manner had been a Democrat, the conclusion would have been the same, and that’s really how I looked at it. It’s important that no matter what party we belong to, we all recognize that insurrection, sedition, those are things that tear at the very heart of our Republic, and those are things that cannot be tolerated. That’s why I felt it was so important to vote to impeach, that’s our Constitutional pool and what happened last week can never happen again.”

*This story’s description was updated to say “Wyoming media members” instead of “state media.”

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