Cheney also sharply criticized House Republicans for continuing to support Trump, saying that Trump reportedly said that the insurrection was on Election Day, rather than January 6, at the conference’s annual fundraising dinner on Monday night.
“Political leaders who sit silent in the face of these false and dangerous claims are aiding the former President who is at war with the rule of law, and the Constitution,” Cheney said. “When our constitutional order is threatened, as it is now, rising above partisanship is not simply an aspiration. It is an obligation.”
Cheney is the top Republican on the House select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol, and was one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” following it.
“We are also confronting a domestic threat that we have never faced before: A former president who’s attempting to unravel the foundations of our constitutional republic, aided by political leaders, who have made themselves willing hostages to this dangerous and irrational man,” said Cheney after ticking off the threats the US faces around the world.
Cheney gave on Tuesday the keynote address for a First Amendment award given by the Saint Anselm College’s Institute of Politics. Her comments are sure to prompt speculation about a 2024 presidential run, which could potentially be against the former President. Cheney mentioned in her speech some of her ancestors who lived in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary, that she is a “conservative Republican” who disagrees “strongly with nearly everything President Biden has done since he has been in office,” and supports “limited government, low taxes, a strong national defense” and family values.
But while she opposed Biden’s policies, she repeatedly took aim at the former President, calling him a “liar” who “tragically misled” Americans and “provoked violence” on January 6.
“I love my party. I love its history. I love its principles,” Cheney said. “But I love my country more. I know this nation needs a Republican Party that is based on truth.”
“We need a Republican Party that is led by people who remember that the peaceful transfer of power is sacred,” she added. “We need Republican leaders who remember that fidelity to the Constitution, fidelity to the rule of law — those are the most conservative of conservative principles.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Trump again ripped the work of Cheney and her colleagues on the House committee investigating the deadly attack on the Capitol and falsely claimed that his 2020 loss was “fraudulent.”
“The Unselect Committee of politically ambitious hacks continues to subpoena people wanting to know about those protesting, on January 6th, the insurrection which took place during the Presidential Election of November 3rd,” Trump said. “That’s right, the Committee is studying the PROTEST when it should be studying the Fraudulent Election that led to the protest. As the LameStream Media knows, the facts are there for all to see!”