In an interview with CNN’s Kasie Hunt, Cheney — the GOP vice chair of the House Select Committee investigating the events surrounding the 6 history of the nation’s insurgency — said, pointing to a judge who said he likely committed crimes. She said the House Committee will “continue to pursue the facts. I think the Justice Department will do that. But they have to make decisions about prosecutions.”
“To understand what it means when the facts and evidence are in place and they choose not to press charges – then how do we call ourselves a nation of laws? I think that’s a very serious, serious consideration,” Cheney said.
“The question for us is, are we a constitutional state? Are we a country where no one is above the law? And what do the facts and evidence show?” said Cheney.
She dodged questions about whether Trump, if prosecuted by President Joe Biden’s Justice Department, would only bolster his strength with the Republican Party base ahead of the 2024 presidential bid that Trump has repeatedly teased.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to think about it that way,” said Cheney, who faces a Trump-backed challenger in a primary later this month.
“I think he’s guilty of the gravest breach of duty by a president in the history of our nation,” Cheney said of Trump. “They had a federal judge in California say that it’s very likely that he and John Eastman committed two felonies.”
The House Committee is preparing to release its final report before the midterm elections in November.
“He tried to steal the last election with lies and violence to stay in power after voters rejected him,” the former vice president says in the spot.
“He’s a coward. A real man would not lie to his followers. He lost his election and he lost a lot. I know it, he knows it, and deep down I think most Republicans know it,” adds Dick Cheney.
Liz Cheney, who has courted Democratic voters in Wyoming’s primary, said she doesn’t see the work of the House Committee through the lens of political outcomes.
Cheney said the House panel will present more evidence in the coming months and she expects the committee to have “an opinion” on criminal referrals to the Justice Department.
“There is much more that we have not yet shared in hearings that we expect to share in the fall,” she said. “And we will also make decisions about criminal referrals. And ultimately, the decision to prosecute rests with the Department of Justice. But I expect the committee will have an opinion on that.”
Cheney said that she learned during the committee’s investigation that Trump’s effort to block the 2020 election results was “a more sophisticated and far-reaching effort than I understood.”
“I think all of us on the committee have had the same reaction, which is that so much, so much more has happened in different areas, whether it’s the pressure on state officials or the pressure on the Justice Department,” or efforts to get former Vice President Mike Pence to do so to urge the electoral votes of some states to be rejected.
“The volume of information was greater than I expected,” she said.
Cheney praised Pence for rejecting pressure from Trump. She said Pence, who as vice president oversaw the session of Congress that officially counted the electoral vote, “was a hero on Jan. 6.”
“It is very clear that there has been a tremendous amount of pressure put on him from various sources. And he did his duty and didn’t give in to that pressure, and if he had given in to that pressure, things would have turned out very differently,” she said. “And so I think we owe him a debt of gratitude for the way he behaved and for refusing to do what Donald Trump wanted him to do, which would have been illegal.”
EXPLANATION: This headline and article have been updated to clarify the conditions Cheney believes would challenge the US as a “Nation of Laws” and to include additional information from the interview.