Liz Cheney has described new House Speaker Mike Johnson as “dangerous” for his role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol building, and in Donald Trump’s attempts to subvert the 2020 presidential elections. Here’s the story.
Difficult Intro for Johnson
It’s been a fraught introduction to the US House of Representatives for new House Speaker Mike Johnson.
The latest voice to speak out against the former Lousiana congressman is Liz Cheney, who has accused Johnson of being “dangerous” and “acting in ways he knows to be wrong” due to his involvement in the January 6 Capitol riots of 2021.
An Informed Opinion
Cheney, a former Republican congresswoman for Wyoming, was also the vice chair for the committee that investigated the January 6 incident.
She has since publically pointed to several elements that link Johnson to the riots.
Politics Is Everything
She shared her views on Johnson on the Politics Is Everything podcast hosted by the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
“He was acting in ways that he knew to be wrong,” she said. “And I think that the country unfortunately will come to see the measure of his character.”
Undermining the Republic
“One of the reasons why somebody like Mike Johnson is dangerous is because … you have elected Republicans who know better,” she continued.
“Elected Republicans who know the truth but yet will go along with the efforts to undermine our republic: the efforts, frankly, that Donald Trump undertook to overturn the election.”
Conspiracy Theories and Other Blunders
Cheney pointed to a number of issues: Johnson promoted conspiracy theories involving President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory, which played a major role in the attack on the Capitol, and voted to object to polling results during the same election.
Perhaps most egregiously, Johnson penned an amicus brief supporting a Texas lawsuit that tried to invalidate the election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – four states that voted for Biden.
A moderate Republican, Cheney was one of two Republicans who stood on the House January 6 committee, along with Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
Both publicly opposed Trump’s presidency and were closely involved with the reports and hearings held to investigate Jan 6.
In her podcast interview with UVA professor Larry Sabato, she elaborated on her past experiences with Johnson. “Mike is somebody that I knew well,” she said.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
“We were elected together [in 2016]. Our offices were next to each other, and Mike is somebody who says that he’s committed to defending the constitution,” Cheney continued, “But that’s not what he did when we were all tested in the aftermath of the 2020 election.”
Flouting the Rulings of the Court
“In my experience[…] when Mike was doing things like convincing members of the conference to sign on to the amicus brief, he was willing to set aside what he knew to be the rulings of the courts, the requirements of the constitution.”
Praise and Political Expedience
According to Cheney, Johnson carried out these actions to “placate” and “gain praise” from Trump for “political expedience.”
“It’s a concerning moment to have him be elected Speaker of the House,” she concluded.
The Most Dangerous Threat
The daughter of former defense secretary and vice-president Dick Cheney, she has made no qualms about her concerns regarding the former President.
In a discussion on CNN’s State of the Union last month, she called a second Trump presidency the “single most dangerous threat” to US democracy.
Johnson was elected as House Speaker to replace former speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was abruptly ousted from the role by other members of the GOP last month.
Since McCarthy was removed, 13 candidates were rejected for the speakership before choosing Johnson.
Criticisms Flow In
Since his ascension to the position, Johnson has been widely scrutinized for his past positions, particularly involving his hard right beliefs inspired by his Christian faith.
Haunted by Past Comments
His past stances on LGBTQ issues had been perhaps the most damning, such as when he called homosexuality “inherently unnatural” and a “dangerous lifestyle,” and referred to same-sex marriage as “the dark harbinger of chaos and sexual anarchy.”
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