Liz Cheney Unloads on Trump, GOP Leaders in Forthcoming Memoir

Former Wyoming congresswoman shares new details on Jan. 6, Trump grievances

  • Published In: Politics
  • Last Updated: Nov 30, 2023
Liz Cheney’s forthcoming memoir, “Oath and Honor,” takes aim at former President Donald Trump and the many GOP leaders she alleges exhibited “cowardice” for failing to hold him accountable for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. (Courtesy photo via Hachette Book Group)

Jacob Gardenswartz

Special to the Wyoming Truth

WASHINGTON — Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)’s tell-all memoir about her surprise turn against former President Donald Trump won’t be released for another week. But the revelations contained within it are already trickling out, as Cheney continues her ardent campaign against the current GOP presidential frontrunner.

“Oath and Honor,” Cheney’s 384-page memoir set to be released on Dec. 5, bills itself as a “gripping first-hand account” of her experiences leading up to, during and after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Advanced copies obtained by CNN and The Guardian reveal some of the new details Cheney will share in the book, which not only covers Trump’s own conduct but also what she describes as the “cowardice” exhibited by Republican leaders failing to hold him accountable.

Among the GOP officials explicitly called out are former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and newly-empowered Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), the latter of whom Cheney notes “appeared especially susceptible to flattery from Trump and aspired to being anywhere in Trump’s orbit.”

Cheney in the book writes that Jordan was “dismissive” of the legal steps required to be taken to challenge Trump’s election loss, suggesting he “didn’t seem to think the rules mattered.”

“The only thing that matters is winning,” Jordan said in conversation with GOP colleagues, Cheney alleges.

During the actual attack on the Capitol weeks later, as lawmakers were retreating to safety away from the pro-Trump mob, Cheney writes Jordan approached her and said, “we need to get the ladies off the aisle,” extending his hand for help, according to the excerpts.

“I swatted his hand away,” Cheney writes. “Get away from me. You f—–g did this,” she writes that she told him.

Jordan’s spokesman has repeatedly denied such an altercation occurred.

Cheney directs some of her harshest criticisms at McCarthy, who she claims privately conceded Trump lost the election even as he publicly attested to the opposite.

In an especially revealing episode, Cheney recounts confronting the former speaker after he traveled to Mar-a-Lago for a photo op with the former president just weeks after the Jan. 6 attack.

According to the excerpts obtained by CNN, McCarthy defended the move by suggesting those around Trump were “really worried” about the former president. “Trump’s not eating, so they asked me to come see him,” Cheney writes McCarthy told her.

Cheney decries former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)’s trip to visit Trump at Mar-a-Lago after the Jan. 6 insurrection, writing McCarthy told her he did so because the former president wasn’t eating. (Photo via Save America PAC) 

“What? You went to Mar-a-Lago because Trump’s not eating?” Cheney responded.

“Yeah, he’s really depressed,” McCarthy said.

Without denying the underlying allegations, McCarthy’s spokesman told CNN in response that, “For Cheney, first it was Trump Derangement Syndrome, and now apparently it’s also McCarthy Derangement Syndrome.”

As for Trump himself, Cheney suggests he is “the most dangerous man ever to inhabit the Oval Office.”

“Trump has told us that he thinks the Constitution can and should be suspended when necessary, that what happened on Jan. 6 was justified, that in a second Trump presidency he would seek retribution,” Cheney writes. “As a nation, we can endure damaging policies for a four-year term. But we cannot survive a president willing to terminate our Constitution.”

In a scathing statement in response, Trump 2024 campaign spokesman Steven Cheung blasted Cheney as “a loser who is now lying in order to sell a book that either belongs in the discount bargain bin in the fiction section of the bookstore or should be repurposed as toilet paper.”

Trump retains strong hold on GOP base—for now

Despite the many allegations contained in Cheney’s book, some of which are new and some of which were previously litigated during the Jan. 6 committee investigation, the former president remains the clear frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential primary.

Nationally, Trump maintains a significant lead over his Republican rivals, according to the latest polling averages, with just under 60% of GOP voters picking him as their top choice for the nomination. His chief competitors, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, trail with just 13% and 10% of the GOP vote respectively.

In Iowa and New Hampshire, where the first primary elections and caucuses will take place in January, Trump leads by over 25 points. Even in Florida and South Carolina, the home states of DeSantis and Haley, Trump is far ahead. Assuming current trends hold, he may well have the nomination wrapped up by the March 5 “Super Tuesday” contest, when GOP voters in 16 states and territories head to the polls.

To be sure, things could change before then.

A particularly strong performance by one of Trump’s competitors at the Dec. 6 GOP primary debate in Alabama could impact the course of the race, though the former president’s decision to skip the debates has had little material impact on his support to date.

International crises, such as the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza, could push voters to change their minds, although a slight majority of voters have told pollsters they currently trust Trump over Biden to better handle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And Trump’s many legal perils pose significant risks to his candidacy. Yet even in the unlikely event that he faces a criminal conviction before the election, a large majority of GOP voters appear poised to support him anyway: in a November Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, a whopping 89% of his supporters said they’d still vote for him even if he were convicted of crimes.

In Wyoming, Trump reigns supreme

In the Equality State, Trump’s support appears as strong as ever. A mail-in poll conducted by the Wyoming Republican Party earlier this month showed the former president garnering 70% of GOP voters’ support, compared to DeSantis’ 12% and Haley’s 5%.

And a long-shot effort to try to keep him off the ballot due to his refusal to concede defeat in 2020 appears unlikely to produce results. Earlier this month, retired Laramie attorney Tim Newcomb filed a lawsuit in Albany County District Court seeking to remove Trump’s name from appearing on voter ballots in 2024 — as well as Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.)’s, given her vote against certifying Pennsylvania’s election results.

“Mr. Trump disqualified himself from appearing on Wyoming’s ballot when he refused to defend the Constitution’s transfer of presidential power,” Newcomb’s complaint alleges.

But Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray, a fervent Trump supporter who oversees statewide elections, decried the attempt in an official statement as “outrageously wrong and repugnant” and pledged a “vigorous defense to stop these blatant, radical attempts to interfere with Wyoming’s elections.”

Similar attempts to disqualify Trump in other states, including Michigan, Colorado, Minnesota and New Jersey, have mostly gone nowhere.

Cheney, for her part, also highlights her efforts to keep Trump off the ballot. As she writes in her book, “Every one of us – Republican, Democrat, Independent – must work and vote together to ensure that Donald Trump and those who have appeased, enabled, and collaborated with him are defeated. This is the cause of our time.”

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