Representative Liz Cheney, who was ousted from her GOP congressional leadership post on Wednesday, has called for a criminal investigation into former president Donald Trump for inciting the deadly Capitol insurrection on 6 January.
In an interview with Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s Today Show on Thursday, Ms Cheney said she was not “surprised” by her removal as the chair of the Republican conference. She added that the GOP now finds itself in a “moment where we have to decide whether we as a party whether we are going to embrace the truth.”
She described the grip that Mr Trump had on the Republican party as “dangerous” and “a cult of personality,” saying it was a “betrayal” to see him try to burn down the party and American democracy in an attempt to regain power.
“It’s a real betrayal. He’s going to unravel the democracy to come back into power,” Ms Cheney said.
Despite facing removal from her leadership post after her Republican colleagues voted her oust her, Ms Cheney said she still had “affection” for most of her colleagues.
Ms Guthrie then asked what had changed since the last Republican vote testing Ms Cheney’s leadership, which the GOP congresswoman won 145 to 61.
“For reasons I don’t understand, the leaders within my party have decided to embrace the former president who launched that attack,” Ms Cheney said of the insurrection.
Ms Cheney said she supports a criminal investigation into Mr Trump.
“I think the American people have to know,” she told Guthrie. “And certainly any president who did what we know this former president did has got to be investigated criminally.”