Liz Cheney, the third ranking House Republican, on Tuesday called on the Republican party to “make clear we aren’t the party of white supremacy.” Cheney’s remarks came during an event hosted by the Reagan Institute.
“It’s very important for us to ignore the temptation to look away,” Cheney said. “And it’s very important, especially for us as Republicans, to make clear that we aren’t the party of white supremacy.
“You certainly saw anti-Semitism. You saw the symbols of Holocaust denial… you saw a Confederate flag being carried through the rotunda,” she said, referencing the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. “We, as Republicans in particular, have a duty and an obligation to stand against that, to stand against insurrection.”
Cheney has been one of the most vocal Republicans to speak out against the insurrection and what she sees as former President Trump’s role in inciting the events of January 6. Cheney on Tuesday voiced support for the creation of a “9/11 type commission” to investigate the assault. She said part of the commission’s mandate should be to take a “clear eyed look” into Mr. Trump’s and his allies’ false allegations of a widespread fraud and a “stolen” election leading up to the attacks.
“The president and many around him pushed this idea that the election had been stolen. And that is a dangerous claim. It wasn’t true,” she said. “There were over 60 court cases where judges, including judges appointed by President Trump and other Republican presidents, looked at the evidence in many cases and said there is not widespread fraud.”
She added that the commission should look into media organizations that pushed or continue to push the narrative of a fraudulent election, saying they are “contributing to a very dangerous set of circumstances.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in mid-February had also called for the creation of an independent commission that would be similar to the group created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Republican Congressman Rodney Davis of Illinois drafted a proposal for a similar commission last month.
The partisan makeup of such a commission is still being negotiated. Democrats are hoping to allow Congressional leaders to appoint two members apiece and President Joe Biden to appoint three members, including the chair. Cheney supported the creation of this commission on Tuesday, but said a 7-4 partisan split was “unacceptable.”
The Wyoming Congresswoman said the group should follow the 9/11 commission’s model and have only retired officials serving as members.
“I think there are many aspects to what happened on the sixth and in the days, weeks and months leading up to it that have to be investigated,” Cheney said. “And I think having a commission with the formality that we saw in the 9/11 Commission, with the bipartisan participation that we saw in the 9/11 Commission, that’s very important.”
Cheney’s comments come as other party members, including Republican Whip Steve Scalise, continue to promote the narrative of a stolen or illegitimate election. In a Sunday interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Scalise acknowledged that Mr. Biden is president but said, “there were a few states that did not follow their state laws.”
“There are people concerned about what the next election is going to look like. Are we going to finally get back to the way the rule of law works?” he said.
Multiple lawsuits contending that several key states did not follow their own election laws have been thrown out of federal court.
In January, Cheney broke with GOP leadership and a majority of her caucus, and was one of ten House Republicans that voted to impeach Mr. Trump over his role in the insurrection. Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, a staunch ally of Mr. Trump, later held an “anti-Cheney” rally in Wyoming. The Wyoming Republican party voted to censure Cheney over her vote to impeach.
Cheney also survived an attempt to oust her from her congressional leadership post, winning a blind vote 145 to 61.