Rep. Liz Cheney, the top Republican on the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot, said on Sunday that the findings of her committee have led her to believe that Donald Trump is “unfit for future office” and that if he were to win a future presidential election, it could destroy American democracy.
“We entrust the survival of our republic into the hands of the chief executive,” Cheney told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on This Week. “And when a president refuses to tell the mob to stop, when he refuses to defend any of the coordinate branches of government, he cannot be trusted.”
On CBS’s Face the Nation, Cheney delivered a similar message about Trump. “This is a man who is simply too dangerous ever to play a role again in our democracy,” she said.
Cheney’s conclusions, she said, stemmed in part from the findings of her committee about Trump’s actions on January 6, 2021. She explained that her committee had testimony showing that while armed rioters invaded the US Capitol building, threatening violence in service of the conspiracy theory that the election was stolen, Trump sat in the dining room next to the Oval Office watching the riot on television. According to Cheney’s summary of testimony given to the January 6 committee, he initially ignored pleas from his staff, his daughter Ivanka, and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy that he issue a message to the insurrectionists asking them to stop.
Rep. Liz Cheney, the top Republican on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, says former Pres. Trump is "clearly unfit for future office, clearly can never be anywhere near the Oval Office ever again." https://t.co/zo7wSq6hc1 pic.twitter.com/Q8v97iEqcY
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 2, 2022
“The president could have, at any moment, walked those very few steps into the briefing room, gone on live television, and told his supporters who were assaulting the Capitol to stop,” Cheney said on This Week. “He could have told them to stand down. He could have told them to go home—and he failed to do so. It’s hard to imagine a more significant and more serious dereliction of duty than that.”
It wasn’t until 4:17 pm that day—two hours after the rioters first entered the Capitol building—that Trump tweeted a video calling on the mob to “go home,” while also falsely claiming that the election was “fraudulent.”