- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Rep. Liz Cheney said Wednesday the GOP is at a “turning point” and warned that embracing former President Trump’s lies about the 2020 election will “do profound long-term damage to our party and our country.”

Ms. Cheney said Republicans must support the criminal investigations into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and support the creation of a bipartisan commission with subpoena power needed to get to the bottom of what happened that day.

“Finally, we Republicans need to stand for genuinely conservative principles, and steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality,” she said in a Washington Post op-ed.

The Wyoming Republican is on the verge of losing her job as House Republican Conference Chair because of her continued criticism of Mr. Trump and insistence the GOP must distance itself from Mr. Trump’s stolen election claims.

“The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution,” Ms. Cheney said.

Ms. Cheney is a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

“We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process,” she said. “I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.”

Ms. Cheney’s days as House Republican Conference Chair appear to be numbered.

Mr. Trump and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise threw their support Wednesday behind Rep. Elise Stefanik’s bid to oust her.

In her op-ed, Ms. Cheney said the GOP has been too eager to sweep the events of Jan. 6 under the rug and ignore the damage that Mr. Trump has done to the nation’s institutions.

She took particular aim at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who after the attack on the Capitol said Mr. Trump bears responsibility.

She said Mr. McCarthy has since changed his tune.

“The question before us now is whether we will join Trump’s crusade to delegitimize and undo the legal outcome of the 2020 election, with all the consequences that might have,” Ms. Cheney said. 

Moving forward, Ms. Cheney said Republicans should support — and not interfere with — the Justice Department’s criminal investigations into the Jan. 6 attack. She also said that Republicans should support the creation of a 9/11-style commission to probe the attack that is composed of former officials and prominent Americans — not members of Congress.

“This is critical to defeat the misinformation and nonsense circulating in the press and on social media,” she said. 

“The commission should be focused on the Jan. 6 attacks,” she said. “The Black Lives Matter and antifa violence of last summer was illegal and reprehensible, but it is a different problem with a different solution.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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