Three weeks earlier, Cheney introduced that she would vote to question President Donald Trump over his encouragement of his supporters’ storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 — one among solely 10 House Republicans, and the one member of the celebration’s management, to take action. Because her colleagues had elected Cheney to the celebration’s third-highest place in the House, her phrases have been usually seen as expressing the desire of the convention, and people phrases had been extraordinarily clear: “There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” she mentioned.
The mixture of her stature and her unequivocal stand amounted to a transparent message from Cheney to House Republicans: If they sided with Trump in difficult the election, they have been siding in opposition to the Constitution, and in opposition to not less than one among their elected leaders. The tenor of the Feb. 3 assembly was due to this fact tense, portentous and deeply private from starting to finish, in response to a number of attendees who later described it to me.
When it was Cheney’s flip to talk, the 54-year-old congresswoman from Wyoming started by describing her lifelong reverence for the House, the place her father, Dick Cheney, was minority whip greater than 30 years in the past earlier than serving as George H.W. Bush’s secretary of protection and George W. Bush’s vice chairman. But, Cheney went on, she was “deeply, deeply concerned about where our party is headed.” Its core ideas — restricted authorities, low taxes, a robust nationwide protection — have been being overshadowed by darker forces. “We cannot become the party of QAnon,” she mentioned. “We cannot become the party of Holocaust denial. We cannot become the party of white supremacy. We all watched in horror what happened on Jan. 6.”
Cheney, alone amongst House Republicans, had been talked about by Trump in his speech that day. “The Liz Cheneys of the world, we got to get rid of them,” he informed his supporters on the Ellipse shortly earlier than they overran the Capitol. The president had been infuriated by Cheney’s public insistence that Trump’s court docket challenges to state election outcomes have been unpersuasive and that he wanted to respect “the sanctity of our electoral process.” At the time of Trump’s speech, Cheney was in the House cloakroom awaiting the ritual state-by-state tabulation of electoral votes. Her father referred to as her to tell her of Trump’s comment. Less than an hour later, a mob was banging in opposition to the doorways of the House chamber.
In the convention assembly, Cheney mentioned that she stood by her vote to question Trump. Several members had requested her to apologize, however, she mentioned, “I cannot do that.”
The line to the microphone was terribly lengthy. At least half of the audio system indicated that they might vote to take away Cheney. Ralph Norman of South Carolina expressed disappointment in her vote. “But the other thing that bothers me, Liz,” he went on, “is your attitude. You’ve got a defiant attitude.” John Rutherford of Florida, a former sheriff, accused the chairwoman of not being a “team player.”
Others argued that her announcement a day earlier than the impeachment vote had given the Democrats a speaking level to make use of in opposition to the remainder of the Republican convention. (“Good for her for honoring her oath of office,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi pointedly remarked when informed of Cheney’s intentions.) Likening the state of affairs to a soccer sport, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania lamented, “You look up into the stands and see your girlfriend on the opposition’s side — that’s one hell of a tough thing to swallow.”