House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Wednesday defended her decision to vote in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump, telling colleagues in a closed-door meeting, “I won’t apologize for the vote.”
Cheney delivered an eight-minute speech near the beginning of the Wednesday meeting, two people in the room said, offering what was described as a calm yet firm defense of the Constitution. She did not apologize during her remarks.
Cheney also told members that she wanted a vote to be called on her leadership status, which was interpreted by some in the room as an act of confidence in her standing with a broader cross-section of Republicans, the majority of which did not air their grievances toward her.
Yet Cheney fielded several contentious questions and comments from Trump loyalists, a person in the room said, including Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, who bluntly said she “aided and comforted the enemy.” Rep. Darryl Issa of California asked Cheney if they kept her in leadership, whether she would do it again. Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana engaged in a fiery exchange with her, a person in the room said, speaking loudly and angrily at Cheney.
Cheney’s comments come amid reports that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will support her continuing her role in party leadership, Punchbowl News reported earlier Wednesday.
Over half of the House Republican Conference are said to have committed to vote to oust Cheney from her position. Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) have been suggested as possible replacements for the Wyoming Republican.
Cheney previously vowed to remain in her post despite opposition from her colleagues.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she told Politico last month. “This is a vote of conscience. It’s one where there are different views in our conference.”
Meanwhile, Republican Parties in ten Wyoming counties have now censured Cheney due to her impeachment vote.
The Sweetwater County Republican Party said the congresswoman had “betrayed the trust and failed to honor the will of the very large majority of motivated Wyoming voters who elected her.”
“Because she voted in an anarchic proceeding against President Donald J. Trump which was conducted in contravention of established principles of due process — a proceeding that provided no probative evidence for consideration, called no witnesses to testify under oath, permitted no questioning of the accusers by the accused — Representative Liz Cheney stood in defiance of the quantifiable will of the substantial majority of Wyoming citizens and devalued the political influence of the State of Wyoming,” the resolution read.