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Wyoming GOP Censures Liz Cheney For Voting To Impeach Trump

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET Sunday

The Wyoming Republican Party voted Saturday to censure Rep. Liz Cheney and also asked her to resign for her vote last month to impeach then-President Donald Trump after the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

On Sunday, Cheney defended her decision.

"I think that the people in the party are mistaken. They believe that [Black Lives Matter] and Antifa were behind what happened here at the Capitol. That's just simply not the case, it's not true," she told Fox News Sunday about the censure, in which just eight of the party central committee's 74 members opposed the resolution.

Evidence and arrests thus far have shown it was largely far-right groups and pro-Trump extremists who planned and carried out the Capitol attack.

"People have been lied to," Cheney added. "The extent to which President Trump, for months leading up to Jan. 6, spread the notion that the election had been stolen or that the election was rigged was a lie, and people need to understand that."

Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, was one of 10 members of her partywho voted to impeach Trump for an unprecedented second time. She has come under fire from Trump loyalists for siding with Democrats in the impeachment.

"As I've explained and will continue to explain to supporters all across the state, voters all across the state: The oath that I took to the Constitution compelled me to vote for impeachment," she said. "It doesn't bend to partisanship, it doesn't bend to political pressure. It's the most important oath that we take, and so I will stand by that."

Cheney also doubled down on her criticism of Trump, whom she said "does not have a role as the leader of our party going forward."

"The single greatest threat to our republic is a president who would put his own self interest above the Constitution, above the national interest," she told Fox.

Cheney's censure by her state's GOP is largely symbolic, and it comes after House Republicans decidedto let her hold onto her leadership role in Congress.

The Wyoming committee also called on her to "immediately resign," according to a copy of the censure published by Forbes.

The House vote to impeach Trump, the letter reportedly reads, was done "with no formal hearings held, no quantifiable evidence presented, no witnesses sworn to give testimony, and no right to cross examine the accusers provided."

It reportedly says Cheney "violated the trust of her voters, failed to faithfully represent a very large majority of motivated Wyoming voters, and neglected her duty to represent the party" and the will of the state's voters.

The resolution also falsely states, according to the letter copy, that there was "ample" video evidence that the riot at the Capitol was "instigated by Antifa and BLM radicals."

NPR's calls to the Wyoming Republican Party were not answered.

The pressure on Cheney is unlikely to dissipate following the censure. Anthony Bouchard, a state senator planning to run against Cheney in 2022,tweeted a photo of an empty chair with her name on it from Saturday's meeting.

"Today's vote to censure illustrates that Liz Cheney is hopelessly out of touch with Wyoming, Trump's best state TWICE," he said.

Cheney was invited to address the meeting but didn't attend.

In late January, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz ignored calls by the Republican leadership to try to cool tensions within the party and flew to Wyomingto campaign against Cheney.

Cheney is not the only GOP member to face censure for acting in opposition to Trump.

South Carolina's GOP formally censured Rep. Tom Rice over his support for impeachment. And Arizona Republicans rebuked Gov. Doug Ducey, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain — widow of the late longtime Sen. John McCain — for taking positions against Trump.

Wyoming Public Media's Bob Beck contributed to this report.

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John Ruwitch is a correspondent with NPR's international desk. He covers Chinese affairs.
Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.