Rep. Liz Cheney was 12 when she traipsed across Wyoming with her father to help him win the state’s lone seat in the House of Representatives. Nearly 40 years later, it was her turn. She won her father’s old seat in 2016 to carry on the Cheney family’s reign in the Wyoming Republican Party.
“I’ve been in politics a long time,” she said last year. “It’s in my blood.”
On Saturday, just a little more than five years after Cheney scored that first congressional win, Wyoming Republicans disavowed her and called on their national counterparts to excommunicate her from the party entirely. Cheney has one of the most conservative voting records but has repeatedly taken friendly fire over the past year for criticizing Trump over his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. And so, over the weekend, her fellow Wyoming Republicans offered what not long ago would have been a stunning rebuke of former vice president Richard B. Cheney’s daughter: The state GOP’s central committee voted 31-29 to no longer recognize her as one of their own, the Associated Press reported.
In their resolution, central committee members called on Republican leaders in the House of Representatives to yank her from all committee assignments and excommunicate her from the GOP altogether “to assist and expedite her seamless exodus from the Republican Party,” according to the Casper Star-Tribune.
Cheney’s spokesman clapped back, calling it “laughable” to suggest she was "anything but a committed conservative Republican.”
“She is bound by her oath to the Constitution,” spokesman Jeremy Adler told The Washington Post in an email. “Sadly, a portion of the Wyoming GOP leadership has abandoned that fundamental principle, and instead allowed themselves to be held hostage to the lies of a dangerous and irrational man.”
Cheney’s criticism of Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol started immediately. Within hours, she blamed Trump for forming and unleashing the mob. Less than a week later, she was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the riot.
“The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” Cheney said in a statement at the time, adding, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Cheney has said she’s publicly fighting Trump on principle, warning that letting him falsely claim the election was stolen corrodes democracy and the Republican Party’s core values.
Because of her criticism of Trump, Cheney’s fellow House Republicans ousted her from her leadership position in May.
Trump has gloated over Cheney’s downfall within the party, calling her “a bitter, horrible human being” and saying that she is “bad” for the Republican Party.
House Republicans oust Cheney for calling out Trump’s false election claims, minimize Jan. 6 attack on Capitol
In July, Cheney joined a Democratic-led committee to investigate what happened leading up to and during the riot, even after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy revoked Republican support from the effort. She was promoted to the committee’s No. 2 spot in September.
“Every member of this committee is dedicated to conducting a non-partisan, professional, and thorough investigation of all the relevant facts regarding January 6th and the threat to our Constitution we faced that day,” Cheney said in a statement after accepting the vice chair position.
Conservatives have pilloried Cheney for criticizing Trump. Fellow congressional Republicans, including Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, descended on Cheney’s home state in January to campaign against her. And the Wyoming GOP censured her in February for her impeachment vote. In doing so, they said she “violated the trust of her voters” and called on her to resign immediately.
She didn’t and has announced she’s running for a fourth term.
Four challengers have already said they’ll fight Cheney for the Republican nomination leading up to the 2022 congressional midterm elections, according to the AP. Those include Harriet Hageman, a Cheyenne lawyer whom Trump has endorsed. In a statement, Hageman called the state GOP central committee’s rebuke of Cheney “fitting,” the Star-Tribune reported on Monday.
“Liz Cheney stopped recognizing what Wyomingites care about a long time ago. When she launched her war against President Trump, she completely broke with where we are as a state,” Hageman said in a statement.