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Wyoming GOP votes to no longer recognize Liz Cheney

The Wyoming Republican party voted this weekend to no longer recognize Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who represents the state, as a member of their party. Cheney, one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump, is one of two Republicans on the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Jeremy Adler, a spokesperson for Cheney, said in a statement that it is "laughable to suggest Liz is anything but a committed conservative Republican"

"She is bound by her oath to the Constitution," Adler said. "Sadly, a portion of the Wyoming GOP leadership has abandoned that fundamental principle, and instead allowed themselves to be held hostage to the lies of a dangerous and irrational man." 

The news was first reported by the Associated Press and the Casper Star-Tribune.

January 6 Committee Votes On Whether To Hold Steve Bannon In Contempt
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), vice chair of the select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) leave following a committee meeting at Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill October 19, 2021 in Washington, DC.  Alex Wong / Getty Images

The language of the resolution, drafted by the Lincoln County GOP, calls on U.S. House Republican leaders to strip Cheney of her committee assignments and the House GOP conference itself. The resolution repeatedly criticizes her for rebuking former President Trump as well as for not attending county GOP committee meetings. 

The county GOP party also, however, recognizes the action it's taking is mainly symbolic, noting that she "cannot be recalled or removed from office" by her "own espoused political party." It also acknowledged that there is no entitty that can "forcibly change any individual's chosen registered political affiliation, without the individual who is changing their registered political affiliation choosing to do so themselves."

The resolution passed on a 31-29 standing vote. Attendees of the vote said members that voted against the resolution said their decision wasn't to support Cheney, but to "move on" and "stop giving her publicity."

Natrona County Republican Committeeman Joseph McGinley said there was a "fatigue in the audience" during the discussion of the Cheney resolution, due to the state party's censure of her earlier this year. 

Three members of Wyoming's GOP state central committee that voted for the resolution are relatives of Harriet Hageman, the Trump-backed challenger to Cheney. Rachel Rubino, Hageman's sister, her brother Hugh Hageman and sister-in-law Lee Hageman did not respond for comment or clarification on how they voted. 

"Obviously there's a conflict of interest there with the three of them voting and it being such a close vote," McGinley said, adding that the three members' relation to Hageman was not brought up during the meeting. "Other members of the body would not care. The majority in that room would not care. And they still would have allowed them to vote. But at least bringing transparency to the topic is very important."

Hageman's campaign did not address her relatives' role in the vote but said in a statement the party's resolution was "fitting."

"Liz Cheney stopped recognizing what Wyomingites care about a long time ago. When she launched her war against President Trump, she completely broke with where we are as a state. She rarely comes to Wyoming, and spends more time helping Nancy Pelosi and making speeches in New Hampshire attacking Trump than she does talking to her own constituents," Hageman said in a statement. 

This is the second action the Wyoming GOP has taken against Cheney, after censuring her in Feburary. That censure resolution says the state party will not raise money for her in the future and also asks that she repay any donations made to her 2020 campaign by the state party and any county parties that request it.   

Before she was asked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to join the January 6 select committee, Cheney was the third-highest ranking Republican in the House before the House GOP stripped her of her leadership position in May. On the eve of the vote, Cheney delivered a defiant speech on the House floor, warning her party that she would "not sit back and watch in silence" as Mr. Trump made baseless claims that he won the 2020 election.

Cheney has become one of the most prominent Republicans in Congress to speak out against Mr. Trump. She told "60 Minutes" in September that "millions of people around the country have been betrayed and misled, and deceived by Donald Trump."

"I think it's going to be the most important House race in the country in 2022," Cheney told "60 Minutes." "And it will be one where people do have the opportunity to say, 'We want to stand for the Constitution.'"  

The move by the Wyoming GOP against Cheney comes as Mr. Trump's former senior adviser Steve Bannon turned himself in on criminal contempt charges after he refused to show up for a deposition ordered by the House January 6 committee. Bannon was indicted last Friday by a federal grand jury on two counts of contempt of Congress. Several other key Trump advisers, including Stephen Miller and Kayleigh McEnany, have also been subpoenaed by the committee. 

Pelosi created the House January 6 committee earlier this year to investigate the attack, when thousands of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol as Congress counted the electoral votes, a largely ceremonial final step affirming Mr. Biden's victory. Lawmakers were sent fleeing amid the riot, which led to the deaths of five people and the arrests of hundreds more. Mr. Trump, who encouraged his supporters to "walk over" to the Capitol during the Stop the Steal rally, was impeached by the House one week later for inciting the riot, but was later acquitted by the Senate

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