WASHINGTON - Just days away from the first congressional hearing on the events of Jan. 6, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., called the Capitol attack a "conspiracy" and described its fallout as an "ongoing threat."
"It is extremely broad. It's extremely well-organized. It's really chilling," Cheney said on "CBS Sunday Morning."
The Wyoming lawmaker suggested the willingness of many Republican Party members to turn a blind eye to former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the election in hopes of staying in his favor has, in part, created a "personality cult" around Trump, shielding him from facing consequences.
"We have too many people now in the Republican Party who are not taking their responsibility seriously and who have pledged their allegiance and loyalty to Donald Trump," Cheney said. "It is fundamentally antithetical — it is contrary to everything conservatives believe — to embrace a personality cult. And yet, that is what so many in my party are doing today."
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Cheney called out House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, in particular, alleging that the top House Republican has chosen to embrace more hateful sects of his party and has "turned his back on the Constitution" in hopes of becoming the next House speaker.
Thursday marks the first of eight hearings on the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Several dramatic revelations have given a glimpse at the committee's findings.
Court records described the debunked legal strategy behind Trump’s effort to reject votes in closely contested states. Texts illustrated panic about the violence among Trump’s relatives and aides, as Republican lawmakers discussed martial law. Closed-door testimony described Trump’s inaction for hours after the Capitol was breached.
Cheney said she hopes that the nation pays attention to the committee's revelations, which expose the fragility of American democracy.
"People must watch and they must understand how easily our democratic system can can unravel if we don't defend it," she said.
Contributing: Bart Jansen
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Liz Cheney calls Jan. 6 Capitol riot a 'conspiracy'