‘Indefensible’: Liz Cheney criticizes Glenn Youngkin, other GOP officials campaigning for pro-Trump deniers

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Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) criticizes Republicans who started the GOP campaign election Holocaust deniers, calling it “indefensible” to boost candidates who promoted former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Cheney, who for nearly two years sounded the alarm over Trump’s misrepresentations and their deleterious effects on the Republican Party and American democracy, specifically called out Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), who last week traveled to arizona hold a rally with GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, a prominent Holocaust denier.

Several other Republicans who had previously tried to distance themselves from Trump’s ‘big lie’ – including former Vice President Mike Pence and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley – also recently campaigned with pro-Trump candidates who questioned or denied the 2020 election results.

“I think those are really indefensible decisions,” Cheney said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” show on Sunday. “I think Glenn Youngkin has done a good job as Governor of Virginia, but no one should be advocating for the election of people who will not honor the sanctity of our electoral process. And, you know, people who do that actually put politics before the Constitution and before the country. »

Lake and GOP nominee for Arizona Secretary of State Mark Finchem repeatedly incorrectly claimed that Trump was the winner of the 2020 election. On ABC’s “This Week” Sunday , Lake declined to say whether she would take steps to limit early voting and mail-in voting in Arizona if elected, and continued to spread lies about the 2020 election.

Republicans promoting these election deniers were putting the party’s short-term gain above their obligation to defend the Constitution, Cheney said.

“They [Lake and Finchem] both said: ‘We looked at all the facts, we looked at the 2020 election results, we looked at the law, we looked at the fact that the courts have all ruled against Donald Trump, we looked at the audits and the recounts. We’re willing to ignore all of that, and say we wouldn’t have certified this election,” Cheney said. “They tell you they’ll only certify an election that they agree with. And there is no greater threat to democracy than you can imagine than this.

Cheney’s latest warnings may be one of his last efforts, while still in office, to try to stop Trump and his supporters from subsuming the Republican Party. For more than a year, Cheney served as vice chairman of the House Select Committee investigating the January 62021, insurrection, issuing one stern warning after another about Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 election results at all costs. Last week, the the committee voted unanimously to issue a subpoena to Trump to provide documentation of those efforts and testify under oath next month.

The January 6 select committee voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump for testimony and documents at a hearing on October 13. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

“As demonstrated during our hearings, we have gathered overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and make impediment to the peaceful transition of power,” Cheney and Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said. said in a letter to Trump which accompanied the subpoena.

But Cheney’s efforts came at a significant political cost: she was ousted last May from her post as Speaker of the House Conference after constantly criticizing Trump. Her GOP colleagues voted to replace her with Rep. Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.), who had a more moderate voting record but echoed of trump false statements that the election was stolen. In August, Cheney lost her primary race in Wyoming to fellow election denier Harriet Hageman. by a historical margin. On Sunday, Cheney acknowledged that the work of the Jan. 6 committee would likely be halted if Republicans regain control of the House.

“If we were in a country where our policy worked as it should, the investigation would continue no matter what,” she said. “I think Republicans have made it clear that they’re not interested in getting to the bottom of what happened or holding people to account. And I think that should also be something that Americans through the country pay attention.”

Cheney did not rule out a third-party running for president, saying she would do “whatever it takes” to try to block Trump from the Oval Office again. She also continued on Sunday to express her disappointment with most of her fellow Republicans for not, she said, doing the right thing “when the chips were down.”

If Trump were to become the GOP presidential nominee again in 2024, Cheney predicted the party would “break apart.”

“I think the party either needs to come back from where we are right now, which is a very dangerous and toxic place, or the party will split and there will be a new conservative party that will rise up,” she said. declared.

Robert Klemko and Isaac Arnsdorf contributed to this report.

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