Rep. Liz Cheney faced calls to be kicked out of her position as the No. 3 Republican in the House after she announced Tuesday that she would back the impeachment of President Trump.
The Wyoming lawmaker is chair of the House Republican Conference and has been seen as a potential future party leader. But backing impeachment likely will put her on the other side from nearly all House Republicans.
Several of them said she can’t serve as conference chair after such a breach.
“She should not be serving this conference,” said Rep. Andy Biggs, Arizona Republican.
Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana Republican, said Ms. Cheney didn’t consult with fellow Republicans before announcing her position, and he said she “failed to abide by the spirit of the rules” of the conference.
“She is weakening our conference at a key moment for personal political gain and is unfit to lead,” he said.
Ms. Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Richard B. Cheney, put blame for last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol squarely on the president, calling him the deciding factor.
“The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the president,” she said.
Ms. Cheney said Mr. Trump could also have stepped in to silence his supporters at the heart of the attack, but he did not.
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” she said.
Democrats immediately seized on her support, using it as a dividing line for the GOP.
“Good for her for honoring her oath of office,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “Would that more Republicans would honor their oaths of office.”
During floor debate Tuesday on a resolution urging the use of the 25th Amendment to oust Mr. Trump, Democrats also flexed Ms. Cheney’s stance against Republicans who said it was unfair to tie last week’s mob to Mr. Trump.
“You don’t have to trust us,” retorted Rep. Jamie Raskin, Maryland Democrat. “Listen to the chair of your own conference.”