Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming said Sunday it is possible the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol will make a criminal referral against former President Donald Trump.
Ms. Cheney, one of two Republicans on the panel, said there “could be more than one referral” but the Department of Justice does not have to wait for them. Legal pundits have said the DOJ would face a high bar in attempting to prosecute the ex-president.
“Ultimately the Justice Department will decide that. I think we may well as a committee have a view on that,” Ms. Cheney told ABC’s “This Week.” “What kind of man knows that a mob is armed and sends the mob to attack the Capitol and further incites that mob when his own vice president is under threat? When the Congress is under threat? It’s very chilling,”
Mr. Trump and his allies have decried the Jan. 6 hearings as a one-sided witch hunt set up by Democrats and GOP opponents to get him out of the way.
Ms. Cheney said the point of the Jan. 6 hearings is to uncover the facts and not just scuttle Mr. Trump’s political fortunes, even though she has been blunt about her opposition to the ex-president.
“He can’t be the party nominee and I don’t think the party would survive that,” Ms. Cheney told ABC.
She also declined to say whether she plans to run for president, saying she is focused on the Jan. 6 committee and a tough reelection fight in Wyoming.
“I’ll make a decision about ’24 down the road,” she said.
Ms. Cheney spoke to ABC’s Jonathan Karl days after Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, gave bombshell testimony about events at the White House on Jan. 6.
Secret Service officials have said they are ready to dispute a story that Ms. Hutchinson heard about Mr. Trump reaching for the steering wheel and lunging at an agent because they would not drive him to the Capitol.
Ms. Cheney said the committee has “significant evidence” and “additional detail” about Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony, including Mr. Trump‘s anger at not being allowed to go to the Capitol.
“The committee is not going to stand by and watch her character be assassinated by anonymous sources,” Ms. Cheney said.