Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney has faced intense blowback for her refusal to stick with former Republican President Donald Trump in the wake of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. But she does not appear poised to back down any time soon.
During an interview on Fox News yesterday, Cheney went beyond simply criticizing the former president for his conduct, raising questions about whether Trump's tweets before the coup attempt were "pre-meditated" attempts to deliberately "provoke violence."
She also confirmed that extensive criminal investigations into Trump's involvement in the Capitol incident are both ongoing and forthcoming.
Liz Cheney promises 'many criminal investigations ' of Trumpyoutu.be
Cheney's comments came in response to Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace's questioning her about whether she would vote to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, which begins tomorrow.
Cheney seemed to evade the question, simply saying she would "listen to the evidence." But she followed the dodge with a sobering glimpse into what is happening in Washington following the January 6 coup attempt, which many people, including several top Republicans, believe Trump openly incited with his "Big Lie" rhetoric about the election having been stolen.
Cheney painted a picture in which it seems the Senate's impeachment trial is but the tip of a proverbial iceberg of fallout from the January 6 rampage.
As she put it to Wallace:
"The Senate trial is snapshot. There's a massive criminal investigation underway. There will be a massive criminal investigation of everything that happened on Jan. 6 and in the days before."
And it seems possible, maybe even likely, that Trump will face dire consequences regardless of the outcome of the impeachment trial.
"People will want to know exactly what the president was doing. They will want to know, for example, if the tweet he sent out calling Vice President Pence a coward while the attack was underway, whether that tweet, for example, was a premeditated effort to provoke violence."
"There are a lot of questions that have to be answered and there will be many, many criminal investigations looking at every aspect of this and everyone who was involved."
"We've never seen that kind of assault by a president of the United States on another branch of government and that can never happen again."
On Twitter, most people were firmly in agreement with Cheney's implications of massive criminality.
And some expressed that Cheney's acknowledgement of extensive investigations made them hopeful.
While for others, the massive amount of evidence to which Cheney alluded was all the more reason to convict Trump in his impeachment trial.
Despite her sensible support for investigation into the insurrection, which resulted in five deaths, Cheney's refusal to further support Trump has been a bridge too far in her home state of Wyoming: the state Republican Party voted over the weekend to censure her for her vote in favor of Trump's impeachment.