Rep. Liz Cheney urged her Republican colleagues to 'step back from the brink' while calling out Kevin McCarthy's 'active' obstruction of the January 6 investigation

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Rep. Liz Cheney urged her Republican colleagues to 'step back from the brink' while calling out Kevin McCarthy's 'active' obstruction of the January 6 investigation
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming speaks to reporters at the US Capitol on May 12, 2021. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
  • Rep. Cheney called on her Republican colleagues to "step back from the brink" at a hearing on Wednesday.
  • She also called out Kevin McCarthy for being "especially active in attempting to block the investigation."

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney on Wednesday called on her fellow House Republicans to "step back from the brink" while criticizing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for seeking to obstruct the select committee that's investigating the January 6 assault on the US Capitol.

Cheney made the remarks in her opening testimony at the House Rules Committee ahead of an expected Thursday vote to hold Steve Bannon, an "alt-right" activist and former President Donald Trump's one-time chief strategist, in criminal contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with the select committee.

"Let me address my Republican colleagues specifically," Cheney began.

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"I've heard from a number of my colleagues in the last several days who say they just don't want this target on their back," Cheney said. "They're just trying to keep their heads down."

The Wyoming Republican then turned her ire on McCarthy, highlighting the fact that in January he had floated the idea of a commission to investigate the Capitol riot.

"They don't want to anger Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, who has been especially active in attempting to block the investigation of events of January 6th," Cheney went on to say. "Despite the fact that he clearly called for such a commission the week after the attack."

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Cheney also alluded to the "long arc of history" in appealing to her colleagues.

"I ask each one of you to step back from the brink. I urge you to do what you know is right, to think of the long arc of history," she said. "We are told that it bends towards justice. But it does so only because of the actions of men and women in positions of public trust."

Cheney has found herself largely alone as she's been vocally critical of Trump. She was one of just 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection, but was eventually removed from her leadership post and now faces a Trump-backed primary challenger, former RNC committeewoman Harriet Hageman, in her home state.

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