Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, the party’s third-ranking House leader, announced on Tuesday that she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump, becoming the highest-ranking official from her party to support charging and removing him from office following the Trump-incited riot at the Capitol last week.
In a statement, Cheney, a staunch conservative, said Trump was responsible for the death and destruction that day.
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“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,” said Cheney. “The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. 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 added.
The House plans to vote on one article of impeachment Wednesday charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection,” as it races toward making him the first President in history to be impeached twice. Cheney has said that the vote should be driven by one’s conscience.
Unlike the other two top leaders in her conference — House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Republican Whip Steve Scalise — Cheney opposed Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, and voted to certify the results last week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he believes impeaching Trump will make it easier to get rid of the President and Trumpism from the Republican Party, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. McConnell has made no commitments on whether he will vote to convict Trump during a Senate impeachment trial.
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has broken with Trump in the past, including on various foreign policy issues and by supporting Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, during the coronavirus pandemic.
When asked about Cheney’s decision to impeach the President, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded, “Good for her to be honoring the oath of office.”