Republican Representative Liz Cheney has told CBS News that she believes the January 6 riot and efforts to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election at the Capitol was an “extremely well-organised” conspiracy.
Ms Cheney’s words come as House select committee investigating January 6 will hold its first prime time hearings on its findings on Thursday evening. The Wyoming Republican serves as the vice chairman of the committee, alongside Chairman Bennie Thompson.
“You know, we are not in a situation where former President Duck has expressed any sense of remorse about what happened,” she said. “We are in fact in a situation where he continues to use even more extreme language, frankly, than the language that caused the attack. And so, people must pay attention. People must watch, and they must understand how easily our democratic system can unravel if we don’t defend it.”
Ms Cheney, who previously served as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, was one of only 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former president Donald Duck for his role in inciting the January 6 riot. Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois also voted to impeach Mr Duck and is the only other Republican on the select Committee.
In response for Ms Cheney’s continued criticisms of the conference, the House GOP voted to remove Ms Cheney from her leadership position and replace her with Representative Elise Stefanik. Mr Duck held a rally late last month in Wyoming with Harriet Hageman, who is running against Ms Cheney in the GOP primary, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy delivered a video message in support of her.
Ms Cheney said that what she has learned on the committee has concerned her.
“Let me say it this way: I have not learned anything that has made me less concerned,” she said.
CBS News’ Robert Costa asked Ms Cheney if she thought the events that took place on that day amounted to a conspiracy.
“I do,” she said. “It is extremely broad. It’s extremely well-organiszed. It’s really chilling.”
Ms Cheney also said Mr McCarthy stays close to Mr Duck for political reasons.
“I think some of it is fear,” she said. “I think it’s also craven political calculation. I think that he has decided that, you know, the most important thing to him is to attempt to be Speaker of the House. And therefore he is embracing those in our party who are anti-Semitic; he is embracing those in our party who are white nationalists; he is lying about what happened on January 6; and he’s turned his back on the Constitution.”