(WASHINGTON) — Rep. Liz Cheney said Sunday that she is working hard to win reelection this year and beat back a Trump-endorsed primary challenger — but if her time investigating the former president for the House Jan. 6 committee leads to her defeat, “there’s no question” it will have been worth it.
“I believe that my work on this committee is the single most important thing I have ever done professionally,” Cheney, R-Wyo., said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “It is an unbelievable honor to represent the people of Wyoming in Congress. And I know that all of us who are elected officials take an oath that we swear under God to the Constitution.”
“That oath has to mean something,” she continued. “And that oath means that we cannot embrace and enable a president as dangerous as Donald Trump is.”
Cheney has become perhaps the GOP’s loudest anti-Trump voice and, as vice-chair of the House panel, has become a public face for the hearings this summer detailing a year-long investigation into the events surrounding the Capitol insurrection.
Despite her conservative record — which largely aligns with Trump on the issues — Cheney has been repudiated by many in her party for helping lead the House’s Jan. 6 investigation after she voted along with a handful of other Republicans to impeach Trump last year.
The GOP caucus booted her from House leadership not long after her impeachment vote and her state party censored her.
Last fall, Trump — who denies any wrongdoing in Jan. 6 — backed Harriet Hageman’s primary challenge to Cheney, saying in statement: “Harriet has my Complete and Total endorsement in Replacing the Democrats number one provider of sound bites, Liz Cheney.”
Voting is set for Aug. 16.
“I’m fighting hard. No matter what happens on Aug. 16, I’m going to wake up on Aug. 17 and continue to fight hard to ensure Donald Trump is never anywhere close to the Oval Office ever again,” Cheney said on CNN. But she acknowledged the cost.
“If I have to choose between maintaining a seat in the House of Representatives or protecting the constitutional republic and ensuring the American people know the truth about Donald Trump, I’m going to choose the Constitution and the truth every single day,” she said.
That echoes what she said on ABC’s This Week earlier this month: “The single most important thing is protecting the nation from Donald Trump. And I think that that matters to us as Americans more than anything else, and that’s why my work on the committee is so important.”
“I don’t intend to lose the Republican primary,” she said then.
On CNN, she also talked about the state of the committee’s investigation, which she said continued apace even as the panel’s summer hearings have wrapped. More are expected in the fall.
“We have a number of many interviews scheduled that are coming up. We anticipate talking to additional members of the president’s Cabinet. We anticipate talking to additional members of his campaign,” Cheney said, adding, “We’re very focused as well on the Secret Service and on interviewing additional members of the Secret Service and collecting additional information from them.”
Cheney said potential witnesses were prompted by the testimony of former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who said at a hearing last month, in part, that she was told Trump physically lashed out when his security detail prevented him from going to the Capitol to join his supporters.
The Secret Service has since said they will respond on the record to Hutchinson’s account.
They have also said agency text messages from the days around Jan. 6 were deleted — inadvertently — as part of a technology issue, though the House committee is pressing for answers.
“We will get to the bottom of it,” Cheney said Sunday.
Among the Trump-adjacent figures in talks with the panel is conservative activist Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who repeatedly urged Trump’s then-chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to attempt to overturn the 2020 election results
“The committee is engaged with her counsel. We certainly hope that she will agree to come in voluntarily. But the committee is fully prepared to contemplate a subpoena if she does not,” Cheney said on CNN.
“I hope it doesn’t get to that,” Cheney said. “I hope she will come in voluntarily.”
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