Minority Leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell She defended Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney on Monday after her decision to vote for the former president was severely criticized. Donald Trump impeached.
Cheney has faced calls to resign from her position as chair of the Republican convention in the House of Representatives since she and nine other Republicans crossed party lines to impeach Trump. McConnell, a Kentucky R, is the most prominent Republican leader to date to rally the defense of Cheney.
“Liz Cheney is a leader with deep conviction and courage to act on it,” McConnell said in a statement. “She is an important leader in our party and in our nation. I am grateful for her service and I look forward to continuing to work with her on the critical issues facing our nation.”
McConnell did not rule out a vote to convict Trump of impeachment.
Cheney publicly condemned Trump after his supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6 when lawmakers met to confirm President Biden’s election victory. In a blistering statement explaining the reasons for her vote to impeach Trump, Cheney said the former president had “gathered the mob and lit the torch of this attack” by spreading unfounded theories that the election was stolen.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, cited Cheney’s remarks in the House of Representatives while presenting the Democrats’ closing argument for impeachment.
Wyoming’s Republican stance drew criticism from hard-line conservatives and her state party, who said the Cheney vote sparked “anger and frustration” within the Republican Party. Representative Matt Gates of Florida, a prominent Trump ally, has called for Cheney to be ousted in primaries in the next election cycle.
Cheney remained firm in her decision.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Cheney told reporters in January. “This is a vote of conscience.”
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on one count of incitement to revolt. The Senate is due to hold an impeachment trial next week, the first of its kind for a former president.