Defiant Cheney says voters were ‘lied to’ by Trump as she insists GOP should not be ‘party of QAnon’

Third highest-ranking House Republican was censured by her own state party over the weekend

Donald Trump could be criminally liable for endangering Mike Pence, says Liz Cheney

Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming is doubling down on her vote to impeach Donald Trump, telling Fox News Sunday her party should "not be embracing the former president" after he incited an insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January.

"We are the party of Lincoln. We are not the party of QAnon or antisemitism or Holocaust deniers, or white supremacy or conspiracy theories. It's not who we are," Ms Cheney, the third highest-ranking Republican in the House, said in her interview on Sunday.

"We believe in conservative principles and conservative values, and we believe in the Constitution," she said, two days before the impeachment trial commences in the Senate.

Ms Cheney was censured by her own state party over the weekend by a vote of 56-8 for being one of 10 House Republicans to vote with Democrats to impeach Mr Trump for "incitement to insurrection" following the storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob last month as Congress was certifying Joe Biden's electoral victory.

The censure resolution from the Wyoming GOP states that it will desist from raising money for her in the future, and asks that she return any donations from the state party from the previous cycle.

Based on her interview on Sunday with Chris Wallace of Fox, Ms Cheney is not backing away from her opposition to the former president, even as House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has rushed in recent weeks to repair ties with him.

On Sunday, Ms Cheney openly questioned whether Mr Trump's tweet disowning Vice President Mike Pence during the Capitol riot was "a premeditated effort to provoke violence," and suggested Mr Trump could be liable for criminal penalties.

"There are a lot of questions that have to be answered, and there will be many criminal investigations looking at every aspect," she said.

Ms Cheney aligned — as she has over the last month — with the House Democratic position that Mr Trump's constant gaslighting of the public with post-election conspiracy theories about a "stolen" 2020 election directly fuelled the deadly violence at the Capitol on 6 January.

The American people "have been lied to," the congresswoman said.

“We need to make sure that we as Republicans are the party of truth, that we are being honest about what really did happen in 2020 so we actually have a chance to win in 2022 and win the White House back in 2024,” she said.

The Senate impeachment trial will commence on Tuesday, the second such proceeding Mr Trump has faced.

No other person in US history has been impeached twice.

Mr Trump's lawyers and Republican senators have mostly fallen back on arguments of process and whether it is constitutional to convict a president on articles of impeachment who no longer holds office, indicating they will largely ignore the merits of the case.

Ms Cheney did not say how she would vote on Mr Trump's conviction were she in the Senate.

Later on Mr Wallace's programme, Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said he believed the conviction vote would be bipartisan.

Seventeen Republicans must vote with all 50 Democrats and Democratic-caucusing Independents if the Senate is to convict Mr Trump and bar him from ever holding public office again.

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