Supporters of Donald Trump outside the US Capitol during the attack on the building, January 6, 2021 (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming has continued her challenge to Trumpists, despite being removed as the third-ranking Republican in the House.
In an interview recorded Friday and broadcast on Sunday, Cheney warning about the “whitewashing” of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol and Donald Trump’s lies — over a “stolen election” — which instigated it.
I think it’s dangerous. I think that we have to recognize how quickly things can unravel. We have to recognize what it means for the nation to have a former president who has not conceded, and who continues to suggest that our electoral system cannot function, cannot do the will of the people.
To cause that kind of questioning about our process, frankly, is the same thing that the Chinese Communist Party says about democracy — that’s it’s a failed system, that America is a failed nation.
I won’t be part of that, and I think it’s important for Republicans who won’t be part of that to stand up and speak out.
She said another Capitol Attack is possible, given the example of how far Trump is “willing to go”.
Rep. Liz Cheney tells @JonKarl that some GOP members are afraid to stand up for what’s right over safety concerns.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) May 16, 2021
“Harassing Peaceful Patriots”
On Wednesday, during a House Oversight Commmittee meeting, several Republicans tried to bury — or justify — the attack on the US Capitol.
Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona declared, “The truth is being censored and covered up, and as a result, the DOJ [Department of Justice] is harassing peaceful patriots across the country.”
Rep. Paul Gosar offers unequivocal defense of the January 6 insurrectionists, describing them as "peaceful patriots" who are being "harassed" by the DOJ pic.twitter.com/b4Ijgvfz3V
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 12, 2021
Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia insisted:
Let me be clear: There was no insurrection, and to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie.
Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion standing between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures. You know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from Jan. 6, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.
Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina pushed the baseless conspiracy theory that “Antifa” or other left-wing groups staged the attack: “I don’t know who did a poll that it’s Trump supporters. You had the media saying the same thing.”
In February, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said in a hearing that the assailants were “plainclothes militants, agents provocateurs, fake Trump protesters, and disciplined, uniform, column of attackers”.
In March, without acknowledging any shift in his argument, Johnson presented the attackers as “people who love this country”.
Cheney said on Sunday that the statements were “indefensible”, recalling the violence of the attack and those were injured and killed: “I won’t be part of whitewashing what happened of January 6. Nobody should be a part of it, and people should be held accountable.”
She assessed that only a “handful” of her colleagues actually believe Trump’s lies. Asked if legislators were “just saying this to placate Donald Trump”, she replied:
I think we as a party are in a situation, with respect to the former president, which is really dangerous.