Representative Cheney Votes to Impeach – Why?
Written by Andrew-Rossi on January 12, 2021
Liz Cheney is adding her name to the growing number of Democrats and Republicans voting to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time – but why?
The U.S. House of Representatives introduced articles of impeachment against the president on Monday, Jan. 11, in response to his comments and actions related to the “Stop the Steal” rally and subsequent U.S. Capitol Riot on Jan. 6. In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Representative Cheney announced her intention to vote to impeach.
“On January 6, 2021, a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death, and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic.
“Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. 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. 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.
“I will vote to impeach the President.”
Bold words – but is this a surprising move?
When the words and actions of Representative Cheney are viewed in context, the move to impeach President Trump seems like a natural progression of her growing post-election stance.
Cheney – the third highest-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives – was one of the first Republican congresspersons to stand in favor of the 2020 Election results. While she stopped short of acknowledging the election of President-elect Joe Biden, she asked Trump to respect the electoral process and fulfill his oath – “to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Once an electoral vote opposition gained momentum in Congress, Cheney took a firm stance against the movement. She penned a 22-page memo to Congressional Republicans discussing the “dangerous precedent” such a move would set for future elections.
On the day of the certification of electoral votes, Cheney publicly stated her position again on Twitter:
We have sworn an oath under God to defend the Constitution. We uphold that oath at all times, not only when it is politically convenient.
Congress has no authority to overturn elections by objecting to electors. Doing so steals power from the states & violates the Constitution.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) January 6, 2021
And then there are the events of Jan. 6 . . .
During the riots and occupation of the U.S. Capitol, Cheney gave several interviews to NBC and Fox News live from her undisclosed location in the building. She pulled no punches and placed the blame for the violence at the feet of the president.
In her NBC interview, Cheney stated:
“We have very deep and clear political differences in this country, but we don’t resolve those differences by mob violence,” Cheney said during the interview. “It doesn’t matter what side of those issues you stand on. The President of the United States’ statement now, in my view, was completely inadequate – what he has done and what he caused here is something that we’ve never seen before in our history. It has been 245 years and no president has ever failed to concede or agree to leave office after the Electoral College has voted. I think what we’re seeing today is a result of that – a result of convincing people that somehow Congress was going to overturn the results of this election, a result of suggesting he wouldn’t leave office. Those are very, very dangerous things. This will be remembered, and this will be part of his legacy, and it is a dangerous moment for our country.”
When viewed in context, Cheney’s vote for impeachment doesn’t seem so radical. Her belief in the electoral process and the U.S. Constitution has clearly “trumped” her support for the President.
This move has stoked the anger of Wyoming Republicans, many of whom support the President and see Cheney’s moves as a betrayal. They call her a RINO (Republican In Name Only) and accuse her of using the situation to bolster herself for a future presidential run.
Ironically, those same Republicans just elected Cheney to her second term as Wyoming’s sole representative in the House.
Cheney remains the most powerful Republican to publicly declare her intention to impeach. Neither of Wyoming’s senators – John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis – have even hinted as to how they will vote should it reach the U.S. Senate.
The vote to impeach President Donald Trump is to be held in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
From there it goes to the U.S. Senate. With reports that the Senate’s most powerful Republican, Mitch McConnell, has said the president has committed impeachable offenses and may also vote to impeach, it’s within the realm of possibility that Donald Trump may be the first U.S. president to be completely and successfully removed from office.