Representative Liz Cheney loses GOP primaries to Trump-backed challenger, NBC projects

Vice Chairman of the United States Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) speaks during a public hearing of the United States House of Representatives Select Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill , in Washington, USA, July 21, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Congressman Liz Cheney, former President Donald TrumpThe most senior Republican critic and leading figure in the investigation into his role in the January 6 Capitol riots, will lose the primary race in Wyoming, NBC News predicts.

The results of the primaries for Wyoming’s only House seat have been much expected, as recent polls show Cheney is trailing her top rival, Harriet Hageman, by margin. double digit profit. Hageman is predicted by NBC News to win the GOP primaries.

In a concession speech Tuesday night, Cheney attributed her loss directly to her opposition to Trump.

“Two years ago, I won this primaries with 73% of the vote. I could easily do the same thing again,” Cheney said.

“The path is clear. But I am forced to follow President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election. That requires me to allow his relentless efforts to unravel the civic system. our master and attack our republic,” she said. “It’s a path I can’t and won’t take.”

Cheney, whose next steps have been the subject of speculation by many political watchers, also hinted that she will continue to fight Trump’s lies about the election.

“Tonight, Harriet Hageman got the most votes in this primaries. She won. I called her to concede the race. This primary is over. But now, the job. really just getting started,” Cheney said.

Hageman, by contrast, thanked Trump in her victory speech. “His clear and unwavering support from the start helped us win tonight,” she said.

Cheney’s seat in Congress had seemed much safer until quite recently. The daughter of a former vice president, Liz Cheney served as the 3rd Republican in the House and easily won the final election in 2020.

Everything changed after the uprising on January 6, 2021, when a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, forcing lawmakers to leave their chambers and delay the move. postponed their attempt to confirm President Joe Biden’s election victory. Members of the crowd believed the then-president’s false claims that he would lose to the President in 2020 Joe Biden is the result of widespread fraud. Trump continues to spread election conspiracy theories and falsely claim the election was rigged.

Cheney voted to impeach Trump for inciting riots, making her one of 10 Republicans in the House to do so. The vote put a target on them all: Trump worked to purge them and other Republicans he considers to be not loyal enough. With Cheney’s ouster, eight of the 10 Republicans impeached since then either lost their re-election bid or announced their retirement from Congress.

Unlike most of them, Cheney did not shy away from her impeachment vote to try to convince Republicans in the ultra-Trump state to keep her in Congress.

Instead, Cheney has made it a central theme of her campaign, treating her vocal opposition as a moral imperative that transcends the goal of defending the political self.

“In our country’s 246-year history, no individual has posed a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump,” said Cheney’s father, former Vice President Dick Cheney. . in one of many Trump-focused campaign ads.

Liz Cheney also became vice chair of the House Select Committee investigating the riots. She and Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois – who voted to impeach Trump and is now retired – are the only Republicans in the nine-seat investigation.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and other GOP leaders condemned the investigation as a partisan fishing expedition, even though he was given the opportunity to appoint five members of the panel. He withdrew them all after the two were rejected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

McCarthy also backed efforts last year to strip Cheney of her rank as Republican convention chairwoman in the House of Representatives after she refused to downplay her criticisms of Trump.

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