Liz Cheney

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Find something you really love and make it your career. Don't let anyone discourage you or tell you it's not practical.

Elizabeth Lynne Cheney (/ˈtʃeɪni/; born 28 July 1966) is an American politician and attorney who served as the U.S. representative for Wyoming's at-large congressional district from 2017 to 2023. She was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs in the George W. Bush administration and chaired the House Republican Conference, the third-highest position in the House Republican leadership, from 2019 to 2021. She currently serves as Professor of Practice at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.


The U.S. does not torture.
President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack. … On the morning of January 6th, President Donald Trump's intention was to remain President of the United States, despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election, and in violation of his constitutional obligation to relinquish power.
I want to begin by thanking Ms. Hutchison for her testimony today. We are all in her debt. Our nation is preserved by those who abide by their oaths to our Constitution. Our nation is preserved by those who know the fundamental difference between right and wrong.
  • Sometimes there is a tendency to talk about women as though we are a herd...women believe this or women want that. But we very much vote on the issues depending on what's important.
    • As quoted in "New Bush Campaign Aims to Appeal to Women Voters" by G. Robert Hillman, Dallas Morning News (12 May 2004)
  • The U.S. does not torture; in fact, what holds up the release from Guantanamo is getting a guarantee from their governments that they won't be tortured. Guantanamo and prisons in Afghanistan are completely consistent with international obligations. Just because the Geneva Convention might not technically apply does not mean that America does not treat people with the spirit of the convention. . . . While we are doing things militarily in the war on terror, we are also spreading hope and opportunity so that the young people do not become recruits for the terrorists.
    • As quoted in "Correcting Perceptions About America is My Job: Liz Cheney" by Maha Akeel, Arab News (16 November 2005)]
  • Find something you really love and make it your career. Don't let anyone discourage you or tell you it's not practical. I have loved the Middle East since I was a little girl. I read my first book about ancient Egypt when I was 10, and I've been hooked ever since. . . I have been blessed to have had great, strong women mentors, beginning with my mother. I have also met incredibly impressive women in the Arab world. They are demonstrating enormous courage as they work to expand women's rights and human freedom in their countries. I am inspired to work harder every time I spend time with them.
    • As quoted in "What I Learned: Whether they're running universities, political campaigns or major corporations, these 11 remarkable women have found their own ways of overcoming obstacles" by Barbara Kantrowitz and Holly Peterson, Newsweek (October 15, 2007)
  • It is incredible, but not surprising, that the Democrats would try to remove God from committee proceedings in one of their first acts in the majority. They really have become the party of Karl Marx.
    • As quoted in "House democrats to strike 'so help me God' from oath", Breitbart News (29 January 2019)
  • Karl: Have these hearings gotten you closer to that goal -- making him toxic and not a viable candidate?
    Liz Cheney: That's not the goal of the hearings. It's crucial for the country to make sure that he's never anywhere near the Oval Office again. The goal of the hearings is to make sure that the American people understand what happened; to help inform legislation, legislative changes that we might need to make," she said. "I think it's also the case that there's not a single thing that I have learned, as we have been involved in this investigation, that has made me less concerned. There's no question: A man as dangerous as Donald Trump can absolutely never be anywhere near the Oval Office ever again.

Our Freedom Only Survives If We Protect It (11 May 2021)

This is not about policy. This is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans. Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that.
Representative Liz Cheney on Freedom and Our Duty to Protect It (11 May 2021)
  • I rise to discuss freedom, and our Constitutional duty to protect it. … I have been privileged to see firsthand how powerful and how fragile freedom is. Twenty-eight years ago, I stood outside a polling place, a schoolhouse in western Kenya. Soldiers had chased away people who were lined up to vote. A few hours later, they came streaming back in, risking further attack, undaunted in their determination to exercise their right to vote. In 1992, I sat across a table from a young mayor in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, and I listened to him talk of his dream of liberating his nation from Communism. Years later, for his dedication to the cause of freedom, Boris Nemtsov was assassinated by Vladimir Putin's thugs. In Warsaw, in 1990, I listened to a young Polish woman tell me that her greatest fear was that people would forget: they would forget what it was like to live under Soviet domination, that they would forget the price of freedom. Three men — an immigrant who escaped Castro's totalitarian regime, a young man who grew up behind the Iron Curtain, and became his country's Minister of Defense, and a dissident who spent years in the Soviet Gulag — have all told me it was the miracle of America, captured in the words of President Ronald Reagan, that inspired them. And, I have seen the power of faith and freedom. I listened to Pope John Paul II speak to thousands in Nairobi in 1985, and 19 years later, I watched that same Pope take my father's hands, look in his eyes, and say "God bless America."
    God has blessed America, Mr. Speaker, but our freedom only survives if we protect it. If we honor our Oath, taken before God in this chamber, to support and defend the Constitution. If we recognize threats to freedom when they arise.
    Today, we face a threat America has never seen before: a former President, who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol in an effort to steal the election, has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him. He risks inciting further violence. Millions of Americans have been misled by the former President. They have heard only his words, but not the truth, as he continues to undermine our democratic process, sowing seeds of doubt about whether democracy really works at all.
  • I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative principles is reverence for the Rule of Law. The Electoral College has voted. More than 60 state and federal courts including multiple judges the former president appointed have rejected his claims. The Trump Department of Justice investigated the former president's claims of widespread fraud and found no evidence to support them. The election is over. That is the Rule of Law. That is our constitutional process. Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution.
  • Our duty is clear: every one of us who has sworn the Oath must act to prevent the unraveling of our democracy. This is not about policy. This is not about partisanship. This is about our duty as Americans. Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the Rule of Law, and joins the former President's crusade to undermine our democracy.
  • Attacks against our democratic process, and the Rule of Law, empower our adversaries, and feed Communist propaganda: that American democracy is a failure. We must speak the truth. Our election was not stolen, and America has not failed. I received a message last week from a Gold Star father, who said "Standing up for the truth honors all who gave all." We must all strive to be worthy of the sacrifice of those who have died for our freedom. They are the patriots. Katharine Lee Bates described in the words of America the Beautiful when she wrote "O beautiful, for heroes proved, in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life."
    Ultimately, Mr. Speaker, this is at the heart of what our Oath requires: that we love our country more. That we love her so much that we will stand above politics to defend her. That we will do everything in our power to protect our Constitution, and our freedom that has been paid for by the blood of so many. We must love America so much that we will never yield in her defense. That is our duty.

8th public session of the US House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack (21 July 2022)

President Trump declared victory when his own campaign advisors told him he had absolutely no basis to do so. What the new Steve Bannon audio demonstrates is that Donald Trump’s plan to falsely claim victory in 2020 – no matter what the facts actually were – was premeditated. Perhaps worse, Donald Trump believed he could convince his voters to buy it, whether he had any actual evidence of fraud or not.
United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, as quoted in Full text at "Rep. Liz Cheney delivers closing statement at prime-time Jan. 6 hearing", NBC News (22 July 2022)
  • Let me again thank our witnesses today. We have seen bravery and honor in these hearings, and Ms. Matthews and Mr. Pottinger, both of you will be remembered for that, as will Cassidy Hutchinson. She sat here alone, took the oath and testified before millions of Americans. She knew all along that she would be attacked by President Trump, and by the 50-, 60- and 70-year-old men who hide themselves behind executive privilege. But like our witnesses today, she has courage, and she did it anyway. Cassidy, Sarah and our other witnesses, including officer Caroline Edwards, Shaye Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman, are an inspiration to American women and to American girls. We owe a debt to all of those who have and will appear here.
  • This committee has shown you the testimony of dozens of Republican witnesses, those who served President Trump loyally for years. The case against Donald Trump in these hearings is not made by witnesses who were his political enemies; it is instead a series of confessions by Donald Trump’s own appointees, his own friends, his own campaign officials, people who worked for him for years, and his own family. They have come forward and they have told the American people the truth. And for those of you who seem to think the evidence would be different if Republican Leader McCarthy had not withdrawn his nominees from this committee, let me ask you this: Do you really think Bill Barr is such a delicate flower that he would wilt under cross examination? Pat Cipillone? Eric Herschmann? Jeff Rosen? Richard Donoghue? Of course they aren’t. None of our witnesses are.
  • President Trump declared victory when his own campaign advisors told him he had absolutely no basis to do so. What the new Steve Bannon audio demonstrates is that Donald Trump’s plan to falsely claim victory in 2020 – no matter what the facts actually were – was premeditated. Perhaps worse, Donald Trump believed he could convince his voters to buy it, whether he had any actual evidence of fraud or not.
    And this same thing continued to occur from Election Day onward until January 6th. Donald Trump was confident that he could convince his supporters that the election was stolen no matter how many lawsuits he lost, and he lost scores of them. He was told over and over again, in immense detail, that the election was not stolen, there was no evidence of widespread fraud. It didn’t matter. Donald Trump was confident he could persuade his supporters to believe whatever he said, no matter how outlandish, and ultimately that they could be summoned to Washington to help him remain president for another term. As we showed you last week, even President Trump’s legal team, led by Rudy Giuliani, knew they had no actual evidence to demonstrate the election was stolen. Again, it didn’t matter.
  • Here is the worst part: Donald Trump knows that millions of Americans who supported him would stand up and defend our nation were it threatened. They would put their lives and freedom at stake to protect her. And he is preying on their patriotism. He is preying on their sense of justice. And on January 6th, Donald Trump turned their love of country into a weapon against our Capitol and our Constitution. He has purposely created the false impression that America is threatened by a foreign force controlling voting machines, or that a wave of tens of millions of false ballots were secretly injected into our election system, or that ballot workers have secret thumb drives and are stealing elections with them. All complete nonsense. We must remember that we cannot abandon the truth and remain a free nation.
  • In late November of 2020, while President Trump was still pursuing lawsuits, many of us were urging him to put any genuine evidence of fraud forward in the courts and to accept the outcome of those cases. As January 6th approached, I circulated a memo to my Republican colleagues explaining why our congressional proceedings to count electoral votes could not be used to change the outcome of the election. But what I did not know at the time was that President Trump’s own advisors, also Republicans, also conservatives, including his White House counsel, his Justice Department, his campaign officials, they were all telling him almost exactly the same thing I was telling my colleagues: There was no evidence of fraud or irregularities sufficient to change the election outcome. Our courts had ruled. It was over. Now we know that it didn’t matter what any of us said because Donald Trump wasn’t looking for the right answer legally or the right answer factually. He was looking for a way to remain in office.
  • In our hearing tonight, you saw an American president faced with a stark, unmistakable choice between right and wrong. There was no ambiguity, no nuance. Donald Trump made a purposeful choice to violate his oath of office, to ignore the ongoing violence against law enforcement, to threaten our Constitutional order. There is no way to excuse that behavior. It was indefensible.
    And every American must consider this: Can a president who is willing to make the choices Donald Trump made during the violence of January 6th ever be trusted with any position of authority in our great nation again?
  • In this room, in 1918, the Committee on Woman Suffrage convened to discuss and debate whether women should be granted the right to vote. This room is full of history, and we on this committee know we have a solemn obligation not to idly squander what so many Americans have fought and died for. Ronald Reagan’s great ally, Margaret Thatcher, said this: "Let it never be said that the dedication of those who love freedom is less than the determination of those who would destroy it."
    Let me assure every one of you this: Our committee understands the gravity of this moment, the consequences for our nation. We have much work yet to do, and we will see you all in September.

Now The Real Work Begins (16 August 2022)

I'm a conservative Republican. I believe deeply in the principles and the ideals on which my party was founded. I love its history. And I love what our party has stood for. But I love my country more.
So, I ask you tonight to join me. As we leave here, let us resolve that we will stand together — Republicans, Democrats and independents — against those who would destroy our republic. They are angry and they are determined, but they have not seen anything like the power of Americans united in defense of our Constitution and committed to the cause of freedom. There is no greater power on this earth. And with God's help, we will prevail.
"Now The Real Work Begins", The Great Task - YouTube video (16 August 2022)
  • We really are in God's country. And it's wonderful to welcome so many here. I want to say first of all, a special thanks to every member of Team Cheney, who is here in the audience, and to tell you our work is far from over.
    Among the many, many blessings that we have as Americans, and as individuals and as human beings, the blessing of your family is surely the most important. And so I want to thank all my family and pay a special tribute to those who are here with us tonight.
  • A little over a year ago, I received a note from a Gold Star father. He said to me, "Standing up for truth honors all who gave all," and I have thought of his words every single day since then. I've thought of them because they are a reminder of how we must all conduct ourselves. We must conduct ourselves in a way that is worthy of the men and women who wear the uniform of this nation. And in particular, of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
    This is not a game. Every one of us must be committed to the eternal defense of this miraculous experiment called America and at the heart of our democratic process — our elections. They are the foundational principle of our Constitution.
  • A few years ago, I won this primary with 73 percent of the vote. I could easily have done the same again. The path was clear, but it would have required that I go along with President Trump's lie about the 2020 election. It would have required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our democratic system and attack the foundations of our republic. That was a path I could not and would not take.
    No House seat, no office in this land is more important than the principles that we are all sworn to protect, and I well understood the potential political consequences of abiding by my duty. Our republic relies upon the goodwill of all candidates for office to accept honorably the outcome of elections. And tonight, Harriet Hageman has received the most votes in this primary. She won. I called her to concede the race. This primary election is over but now the real work begins.
  • The great and original champion of our party, Abraham Lincoln, was defeated in elections for the Senate and the House before he won the most important election of all. Lincoln ultimately prevailed, he saved our Union and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history. Speaking at Gettysburg of the great task remaining before us, Lincoln said, "That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. That this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and a government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from this earth."
    As we meet here tonight that remains our greatest and most important task.
  • Most of world history is a story of violent conflict of servitude and suffering. Most people in most places have not lived in freedom. Our American freedom is a providential departure from history. We are the exception. We have been given the gift of freedom by God and our founding fathers. It is said that the long arc of history bends toward justice and freedom. That's true, but only if we make it bend.
    Today, our highest duty is to bend the arc of history to preserve our nation and its blessings to ensure that freedom will not perish, to protect the very foundations of this constitutional republic. Never in our nation's 246 years have we seen what we saw on January 6. Like so many Americans, I assumed that the violence and the chaos of that day would have prompted a united response, a recognition that this was a line that must never be crossed. A tragic chapter in our nation's history, to be studied by historians to ensure that it can never happen again.
    But instead, major elements of my party still vehemently defend those who caused it. At the heart of the attack on January 6 is a willingness to embrace dangerous conspiracies that attack the very core premise of our nation. That lawful elections reviewed by the courts when necessary, and certified by the states and Electoral College, determined who serves as president.
    If we do not condemn the conspiracies and the lies, if we do not hold those responsible to account, we will be excusing this conduct, and it will become a feature of all elections. America will never be the same.
  • Today, as we meet here, there are Republican candidates for governor who deny the outcome of the 2020 election, and who may refuse to certify future elections if they oppose the results. We have candidates for secretary of state who may refuse to report the actual results of the popular vote in future elections. And we have candidates for Congress, including here in Wyoming, who refuse to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the 2020 election and suggest that states decertify their results.
    Our nation is barreling, once again, towards crisis, lawlessness and violence. No American should support election deniers for any position of genuine responsibility, where their refusal to follow the rule of law will corrupt our future.
  • Our nation is young in the history of mankind and yet we're the oldest democracy in the world. Our survival is not guaranteed. History has shown us over and over again how poisonous lies destroyed free nations. Over the last several months, in the January 6 hearings, the American people have watched dozens of Republicans, including the most senior officials working for President Trump in the White House, the Justice Department and on his campaign — people who served President Trump loyally — testify that they all told him the election was not stolen or rigged and there was no massive fraud. That's why President Trump and others invent excuses, pretexts for people not to watch the hearings at all. But no citizen of this republic is a bystander. All of us have an obligation to understand what actually happened. We cannot abandon the truth and remain a free nation.
  • To believe Donald Trump's election lies, you must believe that dozens of federal and state courts who ruled against him, including many judges he appointed, were all corrupted and biased, that all manner of crazy conspiracy theories stole our election from us and that Donald Trump actually remains president today. As of last week, you must also believe that 30 career FBI agents, who have spent their lives working to serve our country, abandoned their honor and their oath and went to Mar-a-Lago, not to perform a lawful search or address a national security threat, but instead with a secret plan to plant fake incriminating documents in the boxes they seized. This is yet another insidious lie.
    Donald Trump knows that voicing these conspiracies will provoke violence and threats of violence. This happened on January 6, and it's now happening again. It is entirely foreseeable that the violence will escalate further, yet he and others continue purposely to feed the danger. Today, our federal law enforcement is being threatened, a federal judge is being threatened. Fresh threats of violence arise everywhere. And despite knowing all of this, Donald Trump recently released the names of the FBI agents involved in the search. That was purposeful and malicious. No patriotic American should use these threats or be intimidated by them. Our great nation must not be ruled by a mob provoked over social media.
  • Our duty as citizens of this republic is not only to defend the freedom that's been handed down to us. We also have an obligation to learn from the actions of those who came before, to the stories of grit and perseverance of the brave men and women who built and saved this union. In the lives of these great Americans, we find inspiration and purpose.
  • In May of 1864, after years of war and a string of reluctant Union generals, Ulysses S. Grant met General Lee's forces at the Battle of the Wilderness. In two days of heavy fighting, the Union suffered over 17,000 casualties. At the end of that battle, General Grant faced a choice. Most assumed he would do what previous Union generals had done and retreat. On the evening of May 7, Grant began to move. As the fires of the battle still smoldered, Grant rode to the head of the column. He rode to the intersection of Brock Road and Orange Plank Road. And there, as the men of his army watched and waited, instead of turning north back towards Washington and safety, Grant turns his horse south toward Richmond and the heart of Lee's army. Refusing to retreat, he pressed on to victory. Lincoln and Grant and all who fought in our nation's tragic Civil War, including my own great-great-grandfathers, saved our Union. Their courage saved freedom. And if we listen closely, they are speaking to us down the generations. We must not idly squander what so many have fought and died for.
  • America has meant so much to so many because we are the best hope of freedom on earth. Last week in Laramie, a gentleman came up to me with tears in his eyes. "I'm not an American," he said, "But my children are. I grew up in Brazil. I know how fragile freedom is, and we must not lose it here." A few days ago, here in Jackson, a woman told me that her grandparents had survived Auschwitz. They found refuge in America. She said she was afraid that she had nowhere to go if freedom died here.
    Ladies and gentlemen, freedom must not and will not die here.
  • We must be very clear-eyed about the threat we face and about what is required to defeat it. I have said since January 6, that I will do whatever it takes to make sure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office.
    This is a fight for all of us together. I'm a conservative Republican. I believe deeply in the principles and the ideals on which my party was founded. I love its history. And I love what our party has stood for. But I love my country more.
    So, I ask you tonight to join me. As we leave here, let us resolve that we will stand together — Republicans, Democrats and independents — against those who would destroy our republic. They are angry and they are determined, but they have not seen anything like the power of Americans united in defense of our Constitution and committed to the cause of freedom. There is no greater power on this earth. And with God's help, we will prevail.

Quotes about Cheney

  • I have not had an opportunity to even see or hear what she had to say because I’ve been kind of focused on what’s going on here. It doesn’t surprise me that she would revert to those same old talking points, because that’s really in large part what got her defeated. … She’s not focusing on Wyoming. She’s not focusing on our issues. She’s still focusing on an obsession about President Trump. And the citizens of Wyoming, the voters of Wyoming sent a very loud message tonight. We have spoken. And that is not what we are interested in in terms of our lone congressional representative.
  • Hers was an admirable loss. It is rare that any elected official is willing to sacrifice his or her office over a matter of deeply felt principle. Cheney did it unhesitatingly. She will be remembered fondly by history, and better than other members of her party who have repeated or tolerated lies merely to maintain or gain political power. That said, she has undoubtedly cut herself off from the possibility of having a positive influence on the direction of the Republican Party via electoral politics. If she runs for president, either in a GOP primary or as an independent in a general election, the effort will be nugatory at best, and possibly quite destructive. If Cheney is willing to listen to reason on this question, she will be content to use her prodigious fundraising ability and national platform to continue to make her case against Trump as an advocate. Anything else would be folly.
  • It’s difficult to overstate the magnitude of Cheney’s collapse. She went from winning her primary with 73 percent of the vote in 2020, to garnering a mere 29 percent that was heavily dependent on Democratic cross-over votes. Wyoming is particularly Trumpy, but there’s no reason to believe that there’s much appetite for Cheney’s approach elsewhere, either. House Republicans who voted for impeachment have been getting hunted down like members of the “Cowboys” gang targeted in the Earp Vendetta Ride, even if they’ve tried to placate GOP primary voters. Cheney not only voted for impeachment but made herself the emblem of Republican resistance to Trump and helped lead the House January 6 committee, without exercising any procedural or other restraint on the partisan Democrats making up the bulk of the panel. There’s simply no market for this among Republicans. On top of it, Cheney’s alienation from her party is likely to build on itself. Already, she has said that she’d “find it very difficult” to support Ron DeSantis, the leading Republican alternative to Trump. In so doing, she is identifying herself with a fraction of a fraction of the party that is so small it is all but nonexistent.
  • If she ran in a primary, she’d be firmly in the Larry Hogan lane, which might constitute about 5 percent of the Republican electorate total. It’s quite possible that those voters are themselves so disaffected from the GOP that Cheney wouldn’t be denying them to any other non-Republican candidate. But if that’s wrong, or if she got some traction, she’d only be taking voters from some other, more viable, alternative to Trump. She might not even make it on the debate stage with Trump, if the party writes rules to exclude her. What possibly would make such a run worth the risk of, at least at the margins, making it more likely that Trump wins the nomination again? An independent run wouldn’t make any more sense. Again, her share of the vote would likely be tiny. In 2020, Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgenson got 1.18 percent of the vote. Even if Cheney could get more, the chances are that she’d be a place for Republicans repulsed by Trump to park their votes rather than go all the way to Biden. This means, just as with a prospective primary run, she’d be helping Trump at the margins. Captain Ahab may have made a few mistakes in judgment in his stewardship of the Pequod, but at least he never allowed himself to affirmatively assist his great adversary, the White Whale. One thing that’s been remarkable about Cheney’s performance the past couple of years is how apparently clear-eyed she’s been about what it means for her future in the House of Representatives, namely that she wouldn’t have one. In contrast, a presidential run of any sort would be giving in to delusion. If Lincoln was dogged, he was never fanciful. Cheney should realize that she’s taken a path that, whatever its other advantages, doesn’t end in electoral vindication.
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