On Tuesday, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) slammed former President Donald Trump and his close ally Steve Bannon’s decision to obstruct the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th terrorist attacks on the US Capitol.
Cheney argued that Trump and Bannon have extremely personal reasons for not wanting any testimony to go forward after demolishing Bannon’s assertions that he is protected from speaking before the committee by executive privilege.
“Based on the committee’s investigation, it appears that Mr. Bannon had substantial advance knowledge of the plans for Jan. 6 and likely had an important role in formulating those plans. Mr. Bannon was in the war room at the Willard on Jan. 6. He also appears to have detailed knowledge regarding the president’s efforts to sell millions of Americans the fraud that the election was stolen,” Cheney stated as the panel voted unanimously to hold Bannon in contempt and refer him to the Justice Department for criminal charges.
Cheney then added, “Mr. Bannon’s and Mr. Trump’s privilege arguments do appear to reveal one thing, however: they suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of January 6th,” she said. “And we will get to the bottom of that.”
Cheney also recalled Bannon’s comments on January 5th, in which he appeared to predict that violence would erupt the next day as Congress attempted to certify the 2020 presidential election results.
“All hell is going to break loose tomorrow,” Bannon said.
If the Justice Department chooses not to formally charge Bannon, legal experts say the committee may have to file a civil suit against him.
Cheney has emerged as one of Trump’s most vocal Republican detractors.
Trump stated in a statement released ahead of the vote on Tuesday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was unable to appoint “real Republicans’ on the panel, “so they got stuck with low-polling warmonger Liz Cheney.”
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Cheney made headlines last month after former President Donald Trump shared a strange picture that morphed the faces of two of his Republican Party’s most vexing foes: former President George W. Bush and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).
The strange Photoshopped image looked to be in response to Bush’s announcement that he would be headlining a Cheney fundraiser next month. (Trump is supporting Cheney’s Republican primary opponent, who voted to impeach the ex-president for encouraging the Jan. 6 insurgency.)
On Sunday morning, the Wyoming congresswoman—one of two Republicans on the Jan. 6 select committee—took a not-so-subtle jab at Trump over the image, striking him right in the gut.
“I like Republican presidents who win re-election,” Cheney tweeted with a portrait of Bush. Trump has constantly pushed the “Big Lie” that the election was rigged against him since his devastating electoral defeat to President Joe Biden.
I like Republican presidents who win re-election. pic.twitter.com/ifGDEuA9Jx
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) September 26, 2021
Cheney and Trump have been at odds over many issues.
As part of her appearance on “The Brian Kilmeade Show,” Cheney discussed the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and appeared to place some of the blame on the Trump administration.
“The fact that Mike Pompeo was the first Secretary of State to meet with the Taliban, the fact that they were considering inviting the Taliban to Camp David on 9/11 — that set this all in motion,” Cheney said of Trump and his administration.
Trump sent this photo out from his “office” of Liz Cheney and President Bush cropped together. Yes, this actually came from a former President of the United States, not a teen boy in his parent’s basement. The same man who had access to the nuclear codes. pic.twitter.com/PPbXbLNQvj
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) September 24, 2021
She went on to say that the former president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told her and other high-ranking members of the party that “we were going to renounce the Taliban, we were going to renounce Al-Qaeda…none of that happened.”
“Any deal that the United States would contemplate entering into with the Taliban should be made public in its entirety,” the well-known war hawk warned in early 2020, as the Trump administration left the Afghan government out of negotiations with the Taliban.
Cheney warned that without a verification mechanism, the peace agreement could be lopsided in favor of the Taliban. “I’ve expressed serious concerns about the lack of a verification mechanism, the commitment and agreement to go to zero, and, most importantly, the fact that what we have here are a number of Taliban promises.”
She continued: “Many of them are promises that have been made before, and I think that the decisions about American troop levels in Afghanistan have to be made based on America’s national security interests, not based on empty promises from the Taliban and an agreement that doesn’t have any disclosed verification mechanism.”
On Monday, however, after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, Cheney still blamed the Democrat in charge of the White House. “What we are seeing today absolutely is the responsibility of Joe Biden.”