Washington – Republicans in the House of Representatives stripped Representative Liz Cheney of her leadership position on Wednesday, removing a detractor of former President Donald Trump who repeatedly rejected his falsehoods about the presidential election.
Meeting behind closed doors for more than 20 minutes, Republican lawmakers used a live vote to remove Cheney as the party’s number 3 in the lower house, a jarring turn for what had been a fast-paced race within the party.
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has been the highest-ranking woman among Republican congressmen, and her impeachment is new evidence that questioning Donald Trump can destroy a career.
The day before, in a bold indication that he was not backing down, Cheney used the podium in a nearly deserted chamber to deliver a clear four-minute attack on his Republican opponents and defend his position.
“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar,” he said, adding: “I am not going to sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the crusade. of the former president to undermine our democracy ”.
Cheney’s replacement is expected to be Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, who came to the House in 2015 at age 30, then the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Stefanik has a more moderate voting record than Cheney’s, but she became a vigorous advocate for Trump who has repeated some of his unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud.
It was unclear when the vote to replace Cheney would take place.
Stripping Cheney, 54, of his post is a historic moment for Republicans.
In fact, one of the country’s two main parties imposes an extraordinary admission requirement on its top brass: loyalty to Trump or at least silence in the face of the lie that he lost his reelection in November due to fraud. In states across the country, officials and judges from both parties found no evidence to back up Trump’s claims.
It was clear that Cheney’s days in the lead were numbered since Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and No. 2 Steve Scalise joined Trump and other Republicans against him.
Critics said Cheney’s problem was not his views on Trump, but his persistence in expressing them publicly, undermining the unity they want leaders to show heading into next year’s election.