Republican leaders forged an agreement this week to potentially fund a challenger to Rep. Liz Cheney in Wyoming, and party members are expected to formally condemn her for her work on the Jan. 6 committee Friday, an unprecedented rebuke of an incumbent member of Congress.A representative for Cheney decried the party’s position, reiterating a statement she made last week that said Republicans were “hostage” to Donald Trump. She faces a difficult primary in Wyoming, where Trump endorsed against her and former aides of his are working for her opponent. Cheney, daughter of former vice president Richard B. Cheney, has largely voted with Republicans and has long held conservative views but has been vociferous and relentless in her attacks on Trump since Jan. 6.
As the party met in Salt Lake City this week, the leaders of the Wyoming GOP privately signed a special letter that would allow the national party to financially support Harriet Hageman, Cheney’s primary challenger. The letter officially recognizes Hageman as the presumptive nominee for the seat.
In response to the party passing the “Rule 11” resolution that could fund Cheney’s challenger, a spokesman for Cheney said: “Wyoming Party Chairman Frank Eathorne and the Republican National Committee are trying to assert their will and take away the voice of the people of Wyoming before a single vote has even been cast.”
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also worked behind the scenes with David Bossie, a top Trump ally, to author and push a resolution that attacked Cheney’s work on the committee, called her a “destructive” force in the GOP and vowed the party would no longer support her.
“We’ve had two members engage in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse. This has gone beyond their original intent. They are not sticking up for hard-working Republicans,” McDaniel said in a joint interview with Bossie at a Salt Lake City hotel where the party is holding its winter meeting.
Bossie called it a “one-two punch” against Cheney that signaled a message from the GOP at the state and national levels.
The draft resolution passed unanimously in the GOP’s resolutions committee meeting on Thursday afternoon, and McDaniel and Bossie spoke privately in favor of it. “Once it passed, there was applause in the room,” McDaniel said of the resolutions committee. The RNC chairwoman said she expected the resolution to pass “overwhelmingly” on Friday morning when the 168 members of the committee consider it. “This isn’t a top-down situation. The members have shown tremendous support for this,” McDaniel said.
“The leaders of the Republican Party have made themselves willing hostages to a man who admits he tried to overturn a presidential election and suggests he would pardon Jan. 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy. I’m a constitutional conservative and I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump. History will be their judge. I will never stop fighting for our constitutional republic. No matter what,” Cheney said.
The Republican Party on Friday officially declared the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and events that led to it “legitimate political discourse,” formally rebuking two lawmakers in the party who have been most outspoken in condemning the deadly riot and the role of Donald J. Trump in spreading the election lies that fueled it.
The Republican National Committee’s overwhelming voice vote to censure Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois at its winter meeting in Salt Lake City culminated more than a year of vacillation, which started with party leaders condemning the Capitol attack and Mr. Trump’s conduct, then shifted to downplaying and denying it.
On Friday, the party went further in a resolution slamming Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger for taking part in the House investigation of the assault, saying they were participating in “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
It was an extraordinary statement about the deadliest attack on the Capitol in 200 years, in which a mob of Mr. Trump’s supporters stormed the complex, brutalizing police officers and sending lawmakers into hiding. Nine people died in connection with the attack and more than 150 officers were injured. The party passed the resolution without discussion and almost without dissent.
The Republican party just officially recognized the January 6th terrorist attack as "legitimate political discourse", folks.