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Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney is furious with the January 6 Select Committee’s decision to not make a criminal referral to the Department of Justice for former President Donald Trump.
The chairman of the committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, was asked by a reporter if the committee would be sending criminal referrals for the former president or others and he responded by saying the committee does not have that authority.
“No, you know, we’re going to tell the facts. If the Department of Justice looks at it and assumes that there’s something that needs further review, I’m sure they’ll do it,” he said.
He was asked again and explained “No, that’s not our job. Our job is to look at the facts and circumstances around January 6, what caused it, and make recommendations after that.”
This was not what Rep. Cheney and other members of the committee wanted to hear.
“The January 6th Select Committee has not issued a conclusion regarding potential criminal referrals. We will announce a decision on that at an appropriate time,” the representative said in a tweet, but she was corrected.
But a spokesperson for the committee spoke to CNN and said, “the Select Committee has no authority to prosecute individuals, but is rather tasked with developing the facts surrounding the January 6th riot at the Capitol. Right now, the committee is focused on presenting our findings to the American people in our hearings and in our report. Our investigation is ongoing and we will continue to gather all relevant information as we present facts, offer recommendations and, if warranted, make criminal referrals.”
Rep. Thompson said there will not be a formal criminal referral and said the Department of Justice has to decide for itself.
“It’s a public document. Anybody can have access to it. And if they want, after reviewing it, to come back and ask to talk to some of the staff or the members who helped produce the report, I’m sure they will,” he said.
Cheney suffered a blistering defeat in August by losing the Wyoming GOP primary to Trump-backed Harriet Hageman.
With just months left before she leaves office, Cheney is already talking about the 2024 presidential election and fueling speculation she may make a bid for the White House — another sign that she’s obsessed with Donald Trump.
While speaking at The Texas Tribune Festival, the outgoing lawmaker threatened to leave the Republican Party if Donald Trump is the 2024 nominee.
“I’m going to make sure Donald Trump, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure he is not the nominee. And if he is the nominee, I won’t be a Republican,” she said.
She also gave an interesting answer when asked if she would run for president in 2024.
“It’s not about me or making a decision about what I’m going to do,” she said. “I certainly will do whatever it takes to make sure Donald Trump isn’t anywhere close to the Oval Office.”
Cheney recently took part in the American Enterprise Institute’s annual Constitution Day Lecture and spoke about Abraham Lincoln’s “call for a patriotism grounded in reverence to the Constitution” and how it’s “essential in protecting our inheritance of liberty, and why we must resist the rise of a ‘mobocratic spirit.”
This is not a coincidence.
Cheney was soundly defeated during her state’s GOP primary in August by Hageman and used her concession speech to suggest she may run for president in 2024 to “stop” Trump.
Cheney teased a 2024 run when she noted that Abraham Lincoln lost elections for the House and Senate “before he won the most important election of all” by winning the presidency.
Then, she told the TODAY Show she was “thinking about” joining the 2024 Republican presidential race.
“That’s a decision that I’m going to make in the coming months, and I’m not going to make any announcements here this morning. But it is something that I am thinking about, and I’ll make a decision in the coming months,” Cheney responded when asked if she had considered a White House bid.
Liz Cheney is joining us live. @SavannahGuthrie is speaking with her about the defeat in the Wyoming Republican primary, her take in the message the voters were sending, and where she goes from here. pic.twitter.com/xrpOMs5fAv
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 17, 2022
Cheney made it clear that her priority moving forward will be to keep Trump out of the White House.
“America cannot remain free if we abandon the truth. The lie that 2020 presidential election was stolen is insidious. It preys on those who love their country,” she said in a final campaign video to Wyoming voters just before her primary defeat. “It is a door Donald Trump opened to manipulate Americans to abandon their principles, to sacrifice their freedom, to justify violence, to ignore the rulings of our courts and the rule of law.”