Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) didn’t mince her words about Rep. Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who is now running for the speaker’s gavel following the showdown that saw Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) voted out.
In a speech at the University of Minnesota on Wednesday, the former vice chair of the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection said Jordan was the leader among those who were aware of former President Donald Trump’s plans to cling on to power despite losing the 2020 election.
“Jim Jordan knew more about what Donald Trump had planned for January 6th than any other member of the House of Representatives,” Cheney said. “Jim Jordan was involved, was part of the conspiracy in which Donald Trump was engaged as he attempted to overturn the election.”
While Cheney said she didn’t expect Jordan to win the upcoming contest, she said his potential ascension to the position would send a strong message about where the GOP’s allegiance lies.
“If they were to decide that, there would no longer be any possible way to argue that a group of elected Republicans could be counted on to defend the Constitution,” she said.
Jordan has secured the endorsement of Trump, who continues to exert influence on a big chunk of the Republican caucus.
“He will be a GREAT Speaker of the House,” Trump said of Jordan in a post on his Truth Social platform.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) is the only other member so far to join the contest, but others are also expected to announce their candidacies.
Cheney also weighed in on McCarthy’s ouster as speaker. She said Democrats made a “principled” decision in choosing not to save McCarthy’s job given his track record, citing McCarthy’s decision to continue abiding and apologizing for Trump. All present 208 Democrats, along with eight Republicans, voted for McCarthy to be removed.
Cheney said, “I think they did exactly the right thing, and it was a courageous show of leadership.”
CORRECTION: This article has been amended to note that Cheney’s speech took place on Wednesday, not Thursday.