Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was ousted from the House Republican leadership team over her challenges to former President Donald Trump’s false election claims, blasted the GOP-led election audit being conducted in Arizona.
In a Friday tweet, Cheney said that the Republican-backed examination of ballots in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous jurisdiction, was not truly an audit.
“What is happening in Maricopa County is not an ‘audit.’ It is an effort to subvert democracy,” she wrote.
Cheney, who was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, saw the insurrection as an affront to the rule of law. The riot disrupted the Electoral College certification of President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory and sent lawmakers into secure spaces away from the mayhem that was unfolding at the ornate building.
To Cheney, Trump abdicated his commitment to the secure and peaceful transfer of power, threatening democracy based on debunked election theories that were used to whip up aggrieved supporters who felt that he had been wronged.
After Jan. 6, Cheney refused to waver in her confidence in the election results and her vocal repudiation of Trump, much to the consternation of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who felt as though Cheney wasn’t focused on promoting a unified GOP message ahead of the 2022 elections.
After retaining her position as House Republican Conference Chair in a February party vote, Cheney was dismissed from the role last month and replaced with Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York.
The night before her ouster as the No. 3 House Republican, Cheney remained defiant in her efforts against Trump.
“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar,” she said at the time. “I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”
Last fall, Biden became the first Democratic presidential nominee since Bill Clinton in 1996 to win Arizona, defeating Trump by a 49.4% to 49.1% margin, an edge of 10,457 votes out of nearly 3.4 million votes cast.
When Biden won Arizona last year, he also carried Maricopa by a 50% to 48% margin.
For decades, Maricopa was one of the most populous Republican-leaning urban centers in the US, powering wins for the party in the state.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, recently announced her 2022 campaign for the governor and has continued to criticize the audit process as a partisan exercise.
“Nobody thought we would still be dealing with the 2020 election at this point,” she recently told TIME. “Yet here we are. Most reasonable people know that the elections are over. Just like in sports, we have a winner and a loser — and the loser can try again next time.”