“We are confronting a domestic threat that we have never faced before – and that is a former President who is attempting to unravel the foundations of our constitutional Republic,” said Cheney, the deputy chair of the House committee. “And he is aided by Republican leaders and elected officials who have made themselves willing hostages to this dangerous and irrational man.”
Cheney, a Wyoming Republican facing a Trump-backed primary challenger later this summer, acknowledged that it would certainly be an “easier path” to just look away. But she also said everyone has a responsibility to confront the threat to democracy that is posed by Trump.
“No party and no people and no nation can defend and perpetuate a constitutional republic if they accept a leader who’s gone to war with the rule of law, with the democratic process, or with a peaceful transition of power, with the Constitution itself,” she said.
Speaking directly to her own party, Cheney said it might be “painful for Republicans to accept,” but said members of the GOP have to make a choice.
“Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution,” she said, to a round of applause.
Shifting into a more hopeful tone, Cheney said she has been encouraged by some of what she has encountered over the past year, including those who have been willing to publicly testify in front of the select committee.
“Especially the young women – young women who seem instinctively to understand the peril of this moment for our democracy. And young women who know that it will be up to them to save it,” Cheney said. “And I have been incredibly moved by the young women that I have met and that have come forward to testify in the January 6 committee.”
“Her superiors – but many years older – a number of them are hiding behind executive privilege, anonymity and intimidation. But her bravery and her patriotism yesterday were awesome to behold,” Cheney said. “Little girls all across this great nation are seeing what it really means to love this country and what it really means to be a patriot.”
“I want to speak to every young girl watching tonight,” the congresswoman concluded. “The power is yours, and so is the responsibility. … These days, for the most part, men are running the world – and it is really not going that well.”