Liz Cheney has had a single goal in mind since January 6, 2021, and that is to ensure that Donald Trump never again holds the position of President.
On Thursday, she ended the final live hearing in a series of inquiries into the attack on the US Congress the previous year, and whether or not the former president played a role in encouraging it, bringing her one step closer to achieving her aim.
The first set of broadcasts came to a close on Thursday evening during the final primetime session, which focused on Trump’s actions during the event. “[Trump] abandoned his duty to defend our country and our constitutional system. He refused to do what every US president is supposed to do, “During the hearing, Cheney stated.
The probe has resulted in a decline in the former president’s approval ratings, garnered Cheney an unexpected set of liberal admirers, and even given the Democrats a lift in the run-up to the November midterm elections.
“Of all the people who were going to save the Democrats before November, I did not expect it to be Liz Cheney,” one Congressional aide was reported as saying.
“Liz Cheney has been the star of the show,” said Norman Eisen, a consultant for Trump’s first impeachment investigation and a member of the committee that investigated him. “It is because of the committee, and especially her, that we now have this weight of evidence in favour of charging Trump,” the committee member added.
The previous year, after a protracted debate over who would represent the Republican Party on the January 6 committee, it was ultimately constituted. According to sources close to Cheney, the decision to join was a simple one for her, even though it meant losing her position within the Congressional party and possibly not being able to defend her seat. Cheney’s decision to reject her party’s leaders and join was portrayed as simple.
According to one Congressional staffer who has worked with the committee, “Liz Leavell was telling her Republican colleagues as she was leaving Congress on January 6 that they had no choice but to impeach Trump.” “She had a solid and unyielding opinion from the start that Trump was the one who incited the violence; thus, investigating it was never even a question for her.”
Cheney told The New York Times earlier this week that serving on the committee was “probably the most significant thing I’ll ever do.”
Every member of the committee, which is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, is in charge of a different area of the investigation. Others involved allege that Cheney was the one making many of the most important decisions behind the scenes.
She divided the investigation into seven unique components, each of which served as the basis for a separate hearing. Furthermore, she attended nearly all of the depositions, despite the fact that the majority of the questions were answered by the committee’s investigators. According to people briefed on the proceedings, she wielded significant influence over two key decisions: one was to focus entirely on the 64 days between the election and January 6, and the other was to let Republicans tell the story.
This was stated by Cheney during the Thursday hearing. “This committee has shown you evidence from hundreds of Republican witnesses, people who have faithfully served President Trump for years,” Cheney added. The evidence offered against Donald Trump in these sessions does not come from witnesses who were his political opponents. It is instead a series of confessions made by Donald Trump’s own appointments, associates, campaign employees, and even family members.
Cheney’s prior background as a lawyer enabled her to address the subject matter with rigour that, according to many of those involved, is unusual for a Congressional committee. And, because of her strong conservative credentials and connections — she is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney — she was able to secure testimony from witnesses that others might not have been able to obtain.
Al Schmidt, a former Philadelphia city commissioner who testified at the second hearing, said, “I have worked on a lot of Congressional hearings, and I have testified live myself.” “At this stage in the process, I felt more like I was testifying.”
“They have concentrated on obtaining the facts regarding January 6 and having the decision makers — whether that is Congress, the justice department, or the public — make their own minds up,” said Richard Donoghue, a former acting deputy attorney general who testified during the fifth session.
During Donoghue’s initial deposition, which was held over Zoom in October 2021, Cheney stayed practically the entire session and asked the most in-depth questions. Donoghue went on to say that, while other members of the committee attended the deposition, it was Cheney who stayed the longest and asked the most detailed questions.
The British documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, who testified at the first hearing and was producing a documentary about the far-right groups involved in the violence, indicated that the committee conducted extensive background checks on him before agreeing to allow him to testify live.
During his first meeting with the investigators, he commented, “I could see the amazing detail in their questioning.” [Citation required] To assure its accuracy, everything had been thoroughly studied and checked with a range of various sources.
Some people close to Cheney believe that without her, some of the most significant witnesses would not have testified. Her father served in President George H.W. Bush’s administration, which included Bill Barr, who eventually became Trump’s attorney general and provided some of the most explosive testimony before the committee.
Former Republican member of Congress and lifelong friend of Liz Cheney, Barbara Comstock, alleged that William Barr could not have gotten away with saying no to Liz Cheney. “Barr could not have gotten away with saying no to Liz Cheney.” “The problem for many of these prominent Republicans is that with Liz present, they could flee the committee but not hide.” [As an example:]
The committee’s work has not earned universal approval. Some others thought members acted too soon when they interviewed Cassidy Hutchinson, the White House assistant who testified that President Trump had fought the Secret Service. However, sources within the law enforcement agency, albeit on the record, refuted Hutchinson’s account.
Others, including as Republican pollster Frank Luntz, believe the committee has been extremely selective in its use of video footage, allowing Trump supporters to accuse committee members of over-editing information.
Recent polls, however, indicate that the public’s image has shifted as a result of the hearings. Support for prosecuting Trump jumped by 6 percentage points between the end of April and the end of June, and there is now an overwhelming majority in favour of this measure. Meanwhile, the percentage of individuals who approve of Trump has dropped from 46 percent in late April to 42 percent right now.
Democrats who want to utilise the upcoming midterm elections to vote against Trump will be thrilled.
“I think the resurgence of Maga [Make America Great Again] has started weighing into people’s thoughts,” Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg recently said. [Citation required] It’s safe to say that 2018 midterm elections will be unlike anything you’ve seen before.
The hearings have spurred the Republican Party to begin considering potential candidates to succeed Donald Trump as the party’s presidential nominee in 2024.
According to numbers disclosed this week, the former president’s fundraising efforts have decreased during the last three months. Furthermore, more than half of Republican Party members have claimed that they would vote for someone else in a presidential primary, albeit their views on his competitors are divided.
Although Cheney has hinted that she may run for president in 2024, experts believe she is unlikely to win either the Republican primary or the general election. Instead, her most important contribution may have been in preparing another person to face Trump after the committee’s probe discovered flaws in his defences.
According to Comstock, the Republican primary race in 2024 will have a big pool of candidates as a direct result of Liz Cheney’s efforts. “Every one of them should get down on their knees and thank her, but they won’t.”