House GOP ousts Trump critic Liz Cheney from top post

House GOP ousts Trump critic Liz Cheney from top post

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans ousted Rep. Liz Cheney from her place as the room's No. 3 GOP leader on Wednesday, penalizing her after she repeatedly rebuked former President Donald Trump because of his false claims of election fraud and his role in inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol assault.

Meeting behind closed doors for less than 20 minutes, GOP lawmakers used a voice vote to eliminate the Wyoming congresswoman from her leadership article, the most recent proof that tough Trump can be career-threatening.

She was Congress' highest-ranking Republican girl, a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, and her removal declared a jarring turnabout to what has been her fast rise over the party.

Cheney has refused to quit repudiating Trump and signaled after the meeting that she planned to use her overthrow to attempt pointing the celebration from him.

"I'll do whatever I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office," she told reporters.

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GOP lawmakers complained that Cheney's offense was not her view of Trump but her persistence in expressing it, undermining the unity they want party leaders to show in advance of the next year's elections, even when they expect to acquire House control.

Nevertheless, stripping Cheney, 54, of her leadership project stood as a striking, perhaps defining time for the GOP.

Among the country's two big parties had been in effect declaring an extraordinary requirement for admission to its greatest ranks: fealty to, or silence about, Trump's lie that he lost his November reelection bid as a result of widespread fraud. In nations across the country, judges and officials of both parties found no evidence to support Trump's asserts that extensive illegalities caused his defeat.

Cheney's replacement was widely expected to function as Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who entered the House in 2015 at age 30, and also the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Stefanik possesses a more moderate voting record compared to Cheney but has evolved into a vigorous Trump guardian who's echoed some of the unfounded claims about widespread election cheating.

It was initially uncertain when the individual vote Cheney's replacement could occur.

Wednesday's voice vote prevented a particular public gauge of just how much support Cheney might have experienced, though it was clear that sentiment one of the 212 House Republicans had been strongly for her removal. Cheney, who did little to try to rally support among her colleagues, made clear that she was plunging forward on her anti-Trump path.

"We must move forward based on fact," she explained. "We cannot embrace the huge lie and adopt the Constitution."

Cheney has told Republicans she intends to stay in Congress and seek reelection next year in her own solidly pro-Trump state. The former president has stated he will locate a GOP primary challenger to oppose her.

Within an audacious signal she was not backing down, Cheney took to a virtually empty House chamber Tuesday night to deliver an unapologetic four-minute assault on her GOP adversaries and defense of her position.

"Remaining silent and blowing off the lie emboldens the liar," she said, adding,"I will not sit back and watch in silence while some direct our party down a route that abandons the rule of law and also unites the former president's crusade to undermine our democracy."

Many Republicans consider a turn away from Trump to be political suicide and agree with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. , who is said the allegiance most GOP voters have into the former president is so extreme that the party can not succeed without him.

Trump hurried to a rancorous victory lap after Cheney's removal.

"Liz Cheney is a sour, horrible human being. I watched her and realized how bad she's to get the Republican Party. She does not have any character or anything good with to do with our nation. She's a talking point for Democrats, whether that means the Border, the gas lines, inflation, or even ruining our market."

Before Wednesday's vote,'' Cheney all but erected billboards marketing her struggle with Trump, announcing at a Washington Post column last week,"The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans need to decide whether we're going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution."

She came in Congress in 2017 with a renowned brand as an old-school conservative, favoring tax cuts, energy development and an assertive use of U.S. power overseas. From November 2018 she was elected to her current leadership endeavor unopposed and seemed within an ambitious pathway, possibly including runs at becoming speaker, senator or even president.

She occasionally disagreed with Trump throughout his presidency over issues such as the U.S. withdrawal from Syria and his attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci within the pandemic. However, her career hit turbulence in January after she turned into one of 10 House Republicans to back his next impeachment for inciting his fans' deadly Capitol attack.

In a memorable announcement before the House impeachment vote, Cheney stated:"The president of the usa summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the fire of this assault.

Her words -- and her pre-vote statement, which enabled Democrats to mention her resistance during the discussion infuriated many House Trump supporters.

She withstood a February effort to boot her from direction at a 145-61 secret ballot, using a McCarthy speech on her behalf credited with rescuing her. That did not happen this time.

Stefanik also came in Congress with sterling GOP establishment credentials.

Her subject, bordering Canada and Vermont, voted twice for Barack Obama and then twice for Trump in the last four presidential elections. She opposed Trump's trademark 2017 tax cut and his attempts to unilaterally spend billions on his eponymous boundary wall.

Stefanik grabbed center stage as a ferocious Trump defender in 2019 as the House impeached him over his efforts to force Ukraine to produce damaging information about Joe Biden, his Democratic rival.

While Stefanik has gained admiration from Trump, some of Washington's hardest-right conservatives have remained leery of her moderate record.

Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, a part of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, composed colleagues Tuesday chastising"Republicans who campaign as Republicans but then vote for and progress the Democrats' schedule once guaranteed"

No Stefanik challenger has yet emerged, and other conservatives such as Scalise and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, have been in her own camp.

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