Cheney: Threat To Democracy Continues If People Believe False Election Claims

On the Today Show, Cheney said the U.S. came very close to seeing a violent insurrection to overturn the results of the election, but the institutions survived because of people who were willing to stand up to President Trump.

Ellen Fike

January 06, 20224 min read

Cheney on Today 1 6 22 scaled

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney commemorated the one year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by telling “Today Show” host Savannah Guthrie that threats to democracy are still active.

Cheney held a number of interviews on Thursday to discuss her work on the U.S. House committee investigating the events leading up to the attack and the event itself. She said on “Today” that the threat to democracy was still occurring due to people believing false election claims that President Joe Biden “stole” it from former President Donald Trump.

“Former President Trump continues to make the same claims that he knows caused violence on Jan. 6, and it’s very important, if you look at what’s happening today in my party, in the Republican Party,” Cheney said Thursday. “Rather than reject what happened on the 6th, reject the lies about the election and make clear that a president who engaged in those activities can never be president again.

“Unfortunately, too many in my own party are embracing that former president, are looking the other way, are minimizing the danger,” she continued. “That’s how democracies die, and we simply cannot let that happen.”

She noted that the U.S. came “very close” to seeing a violent insurrection to overturn the results of the general election of November 2020, but the institutions survived due to people who were willing to stand up against pressure from Trump, including state elected officials, U.S. Department of Justice officials and the police officers who held off the protestors one year ago.

Five people died as a result of the Capitol attack last year.

Cheney also told Guthrie that the Jan. 6 committee has unearthed new information in every single aspect of the investigation.

“The committee is absolutely determined to ensure that we understand the entire plot, the entire plan to overthrow the election to really overturn the rule of law,” Cheney said. “You know, we had over 60 courts in this country that ruled against the claims the former president was making, and yet he rejected those rulings and attempted to overturn the will of the people. That simply cannot happen in the United States.”

As of Thursday, the committee has interviewed more than 300 witnesses and reviewed more than 35,000 pages of documents.

The representative also discussed Trump’s movements between the time of his rally where he called on his supporters to march on the Capitol and when he released a video statement telling the rioters to go home, something she discussed over the weekend with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.

“We now have first-hand testimony about the extent to which he was watching television and was refusing to ask people to stop, ask them to go home,” Cheney said.

Guthrie pointed out that the committee is attempting to get outtakes from Trump’s video calling off the rioters, previous versions he recorded before the final recording was released. Cheney said the committee is “very engaged” with litigation against Trump right now.

Cheney declined to specify whether the committee would make a criminal case against Trump.

“There are important questions in front of the committee, such as whether or not through his action or inaction, President Trump attempted to obstruct an official proceeding of Congress, attempted to delay the count of electoral votes,” Cheney said.

Cheney also called former Vice President Mike Pence a “hero” for the way he braved the events of Jan. 6 and added that the committee looked forward to his cooperation with the investigation.

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Ellen Fike